(Phil McLachlan - Capital News staff)

Kelowna’s first community fridge needs a home

People who need food right away will be able to access the community fridge

A community initiative is ready to get off the ground, except for one last thing – it needs a location.

The Kelowna Community Fridge is an initiative started by residents Lauren St. Clair and Amie Rand.

The goal is to have a fridge and pantry in a public location that those in need within the community can access and get food for free.

Rand said she had been reading about the community fridge in Calgary and how it has helped many residents who are struggling to pay for food.

St. Clair said it may be the first such project in Kelowna, but there are already many others like it that have sprung up in other Canadian cities to support communities as the pandemic stretches on and impacts many people’s finances.

“Community fridges like this offer a low-barrier solution for residents and community members who may otherwise not get the help they need at a local food bank,” St. Clair said.

“We want to fill the gap that isn’t always covered by food banks and charities because community fridges offer resources without having to ‘qualify’ to receive that support, whereas with food banks you have to meet certain requirements in order to access help.”

Rand said, especially now that so many people have been pushed to precarious financial situations, it hits hard and is part of the motivation why they want to get the community fridge up and running as soon as possible.

“I was reading one in seven Canadians deal with food insecurity due to the pandemic,” she said.

So far, the project has been successful, St. Clair and Rand already have a fridge and have drawn up plans for volunteer shifts to clean and stock the fridge and pantry. Now, all they need is a suitable location.

“The hardest part, which I don’t think we anticipated, was (finding) a location,” Rand said.

“We’re looking for something that is easily accessible from bike routes and transit… brightly lit and safe.”

St. Clair and Rand are asking businesses, landlords, and property owners in the city who may be willing to partner with them and let them put the fridge on the premises.

Rand added once the Kelowna Community Fridge is up and running, they’ll want to expand the service to other Okanagan cities.

“We want to do this in West Kelowna, Lake Country, Vernon, all the way down to Osoyoos.”

READ: B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The administrative headquarters for Central Okanagan Public Schools in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Rutland Elementary

Five other Central Okanagan Schools have been identified as sites of exposure to the virus since April 27

National Police Week runs May 9-15, 2021, and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be highlighting some of its great work on its social media platforms to celebrate its relationships with community groups and stakeholders. (Contribtued)
Collaboration crucial in police work: Vernon Mounties

National Police Week is a public awareness campaign encouraging new and strengthened connections

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Sharks have been around longer than trees

Your morning start for Tuesday, May 11, 2021

BC Coroners Service logo, no date, stock photo
Police probe Lake Country man’s sudden death on parkway

Pelmewash Parkway was partially closed yesterday while RCMP, Coroners investigated

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about phase two in B.C.’s COVID-19 immunization plan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
All of B.C. will eventually ease out of COVID-19 restrictions at same time: Henry

People who have received two doses of a vaccine can’t yet return to post-pandemic activities with each other, she says

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

Most Read