Community fridges are large refrigerators set up in areas with lot of footfalls, stocked with food to feed the hungry. They are usually located outside temples or commercial campuses or residential complexes. These street fridges serve not only poor locals but also others who work in the area such as auto-rickshaw drivers, milkmen, vegetable vendors, building watchmen, courier boys etc.
While local charitable organizations started the trend, now restaurants too in some cities have come forward to install such fridges outside their establishments to feed the hungry in the locality. Not only do these restaurants load untouched leftover food, they even add fresh cooked food to the fridge.
Food donations sustain this noble initiative…
Most of the fridges allow only vegetarian food to be placed. While the organizers ensure that the fridge functions normally on a continuous basis, donors who want to donate food have to take care to load food that is fresh and safe to consume. Popular items that are being donated include cooked food, snacks, fruit, milk, yoghurt, bottled water, roti-sabzi, rice, dal, fried rice, poha, samosas etc.
The street fridges also provide a platform for benevolent locals to donate food on special occasions like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and so on.
'Fridges of Kindness' Community Fridges
In association with Rotary Bangalore Brigades, these three restaurants have set up the fridges outside their establishments. Leftover and excess food, that is untouched by customers, is loaded in the fridges.
Fridge locations: (a) Outside Mehfil Restaurant, Tasker Town, Shivajinagar
(b) Outside Byblos Restaurant, Indira Nagar 1st Stage, H Colony
(c) Carrots Restaurant, 80 Feet Main Road, Koramangala 6th Block
080-2520 0411, 4117 2812
Public Fridge by The Public Foundation
People and food businesses can leave spare edible food such as excess food, fruits, vegetables or biscuits.
Fridge location: 40, Cotha Life, 3rd Main, 4th Cross, BTM 2nd Stage, Dollars Layout, Bangalore 560076
'Annapurna' Community Fridge set up by Bhubaneswar Knights Round Table (BKRT) & Bhubaneswar Queens Ladies Circle (BQLC)
Surplus food is being donated by local residents, restaurants as well as by charitable organisations.
Fridge location: Near Sainik School, Bhubaneswar 751005
Gaurav Chawla / Anuradha Vishesh Agrawal
'Ayyamittu Unn' Community Fridge by The Public Foundation
People regularly stock the fridge with curd rice to water bottles and fruits as well as other cooked food.
Fridge location: Outside the Besant Nagar Tennis Club, Chennai
Dr Issa Fathima Jasmine
Community Fridge by 'Sharing Shelves' of Sun City
This community fridge is filled with surplus vegetarian and non-vegetarian food collected from residents. Items include milk, ghee, boxes of sweets, roti sabzi and regular everyday food.
Fridge location: Sun City, Sector 54, Gurgaon
‘Nanma Maram’ Community Refrigerator
The restaurant loads in the refrigerator 50 food packets every day and general public also donates excess food.
Fridge location: Outside Pappadavada Restaurant, Opposite Kaloor Bus Stand, Kaloor-Kadavanthara Road, Kaloor, Ernakulam 682017
“The Sustenance Fridges” by Annakshetra Foundation Trust
At these fridges, individuals and local restaurants leave surplus food like bread, puris, churma, rice, dals, fruits, sweets etc. Persons who need food come over, collect the food and eat it at home.
Fridge locations: (a) Near Mahesh Nagar Police Station, Shree Gopal Nagar, Mahesh Nagar Colony, Jaipur (b) Subodh Public School, Bhawani Singh Marg, Rambagh Crossing, Jaipur 302015
0141-250 2299, 256 8477
Left-over food from restaurants as well as from residents is stocked in the fridge.
Fridge location: Outside Sanjha Chulha Restaurant, CIT Rd, Ladies Park, Beniapukur, Kolkata 700014
'Akshayapathram' Public Refrigerator
The municipality has placed four refrigerators along with microwave ovens so that the food could be heated before consumption. Two have been placed in the district government hospital and the the other two in the town. One person has been appointed for each refrigerator to ensure quality and safety as well as to clean the fridge.
Malappuram, Kerala 676505
The fridge is stocked with fruits, fruit juice, water and food packets.It is open round the clock and is monitored through CCTV.
Fridge location: Outside cyber cafe, Dr B R Ambedkar Circle, near Balmatta New Road, adjacent to KMC Hospital.
'Bhookha Na Rahe Koi' Community Fridge at North Bombay Mar Thoma Church, Mulund
This fridge, stocked by church-goers, serves needy people and transgenders who beg in the vicinity. Food is packed in foil containers. A security guard warms the food in a microwave oven. The food can be eaten there itself or taken away.
Mar Thoma Church, Community Centre, Opp. Fortis Hospital, Mulund Goregaon Link Road, Mulund (West), Mumbai 400080
'Community Fridge' at Oshiwara, Andheri (W)
Residents and local restaurants load the fridge with roti-sabzi, fresh fruits and snacks ranging from burgers to vada pavs.
Fridge location: Morya Classic 1, Next to Dheeraj Gaurav Residency, Opposite Infinity Mall, Andheri (W)
98200 55358, 98701 94068
'Community Fridge' at Versova, Andheri (W)
This is an initiative by Versova Welfare association (VWA), who welcome the underprivileged and poor to feed themselves from the fridge. Locals help with food and items stocked are poha, vada-pav, roti-sabzi, snacks and fruits.
Fridge location: Wateshwar Shiv Temple, Seven Bungalows, Opposite CCD, Versova.
98198 47253, 98203 52933
Community Fridge at Juhu (Promoted by NGOs 'Archana Foundation' and 'Happy Women, Happy World')
Members from the Archana Foundation and local residents stock the refrigerator with bread, roti, sabzi, biscuits, chips, juices and vada pav. The fridge is operational from 9 am to 6 pm.
Fridge location: Between 5th and 6th Roads, near Municipal Market of JVPD
Dr Rashi Agarwal
Neki Ka Pitaara
A refrigerator with food has been placed outside the general ward of this hospital and well-wishers who want to donate food refill the fridge constantly as and when the food gets over. The food is free for patients and their relatives. The fridge is accessible for 1 hour each in the morning and evening.
CIIMS Hospital, 88/2, Bajaj Nagar, Nagpur 440010
Madhuri Bhoskar, Trupti Tonde
0712-668 7777, 223 6441, 223 3381
“Fridging The Gap” Community Fridge
The residents from the housing society store surplus food in this fridge and the ones who need it can simply help themselves to it. Food is kept wrapped in a foil and items that have not been taken for over 12 hours are thrown away by the volunteers.
Fridge location: ATS Greens Village, Sector 93-A, Noida.
Are you a restaurant located near a street fridge? Place excess unused food in the fridge.
No community refrigerator in your area? Set up one on your own or together with others who are interested.
Wish to volunteer to help out any fridge listed above? Get in touch with them directly or inform us.
Does a community refrigerator exist in your city? Inform us so that it can be listed on this page.
Came across any area where people need food? Request existing fridge organisers to set up one in the area.
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I would like to donate food to any community fridge, if one is located in Baner area of Pune.
Ransel Coutinho, Bandra firstname.lastname@example.org
Intrigued by this concept, I visited the community kitchen located adjecent to a temple in Versova. I was heartened to see needy locals helping