MIAMI – Amid the growing need for food assistance, Sherina Jones said Miami’s Village (Free)dge is transitioning from running a free community fridge to becoming a fully operational food bank and pantry.
The project started in August with a refrigerator at Northwest Seventh Avenue and Northwest 55th Street, just outside of Roots Collective Black House. On Monday, there was a full kitchen with a chef and volunteers who prepare meals every day.
“We’re just trying to help people on every level of life, whether they’re homeless, in a shelter, or whether they have a home,” Jones said.
The community project, which has other operational versions around the country, has been resilient despite having some challenges. A thief stole one of the refrigerators late last year, but a donor quickly replaced it.
The organization has a GoFundMe page. They are also asking the public to participate in the grand opening from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday by donating perishable and non-perishable food. Jones, who works as an aesthetician, said she and the volunteers are determined to make it work.
“The same thing I do at my business — caring, service, and making sure people feel good — it’s still in that same category,” Jones said about the motive behind her work with the Village (Free)dge.