Philanthropists put Miami’s Village (Free)dge food bank back in service

Local grocery stores are contributing to the Village (Free)dge, so it was back up and running on Wednesday in Miami's Liberty City.

MIAMI – The day the Village (Free)dge closed was heartbreaking for the woman who opened it who had to turn people in need away. But a group of proactive philanthropists put a stop to the hopelessness and the food bank reopened to cheer.

Sherina Jones first set up a refrigerator with free and healthy food that was ready to eat about two years ago outside of a store in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The community quickly started using it.

On Monday, the fridge and the shelves of the food pantry were empty. Jones told Local 10 News donations had dried up just as people were dealing with increases in the cost of living.

“Being that we are a lifeline for so many people that depend on us on a daily basis, Like i was really crushed to know that we wouldn’t be able to serve them the next day,” Jones said.

Jones said Local 10 News raised awareness and the philanthropists responded with cash and food donations. Even local grocery stores responded in an effort to avoid food waste.

“Things that are rescued from Trader Joe’s that would normally go in the trash, so we have created a system to rescue those types of foods,” Jones said.

The pantry along Seventh Avenue in front of the Roots Collective is open six days a week. Jones said when the shelves are full the pantry feeds more than 300 families.

“We definitely need more of that type of monetary support, so that we can continue through the rest of this year and maybe even years to come until we are awarded grants,” Jones said.

HOW TO HELP

For more information about how to help, visit the Village (Free)dge page.


About the Author:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.