The Victoria community came together on Saturday to celebrate a first birthday, but not for a person. Instead, it was to mark the one-year anniversary of the Victoria Community Fridge.
Located at 2725 Rock Bay Ave., the fridge is one part of Community Food Support and serves as a barrier-free resource for those facing food insecurity.
“The goal of it was just to celebrate the fridge, bring some people together for some free food, listen to some live music, and enjoy some community time,” said volunteer Nicola Watts. “It’s really great seeing the community come out and eat and share some food.”
While the event was mainly to celebrate the first year, it also served as a fundraiser to help keep the fridge stocked and maintained for its “take what you need, leave what you can” operating philosophy.
Watts said the first year of the fridge has been a success, with plenty of positive feedback and support from the community.
It has also shown just how important of a resource the fridge has been for the community.
“There is an immense amount of need for the fridge,” Watts said. “It fills and empties on a regular basis and it usually empties really quickly … food insecurity is something that faces a lot of people in our community, but it is a fairly invisible thing.”
While she said it is difficult to say exactly how much food is given out through the fridge, Watts said hundreds of dollars worth of groceries are put into the fridge weekly, funded by donations, and that is in addition to whatever the community is adding to the fridge on its own.
A year on, Watts said the volunteer-led organization is now looking at setting up a second community food fridge in a different location. The challenge is finding someone who is willing to host a fridge on their property.
Anyone who would like to suggest or offer a location for a fridge, or who would like to make a cash donation to support the current fridge, is encouraged to contact the group through the Community Fridge Victoria Instagram account.