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Community fridge stocks fresh food for neighbors

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    DAVENPORT, Iowa (WQAD) — While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for food banks, a Davenport woman is leading the charge on a new community-based food pantry.

Just behind the Roosevelt Community Center on the west end of Davenport is something ‘cool.’

“It’s really been a community and a group effort,” said Elizabeth VanCamp.

VanCamp is one of the main organizers of that effort.

“It just seemed like such an easy thing that we could do here in Davenport to address food insecurity, especially in a year like this where so many more people are experiencing food insecurity,” VanCamp said.

Just last month, VanCamp started the “Minnie Fridge,” a community-focused food pantry at the community center on Minnie Avenue.

Their mission is to keep fresh food on the shelves, and pack the fridge and freezer every day of the week.

“You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to,” VanCamp said.

It is all volunteer-run, with enough food for the taking and no questions asked.

“We live by the premise of everybody eats, so take what you need, leave what you don’t, and come back tomorrow if you need more,” VanCamp said.

Since opening on December 19th, the “Minnie Fridge” has seen steady demand, VanCamp said.

“There was one day last week where there was a head of lettuce in the fridge and one frozen bag of veggies in the freezer,” VanCamp said.

That demand is then replenished by the community, either through food or cash donations.

The organizers have posted guidelines for donations and for people using the fridge, which are outlined in the photo below.

The cash donations allow VanCamp and other volunteers to purchase other needed items not received through donations.

“We’ll see it’s empty when we open in the morning, by 9 or 10 in the morning, everything’s stocked,” said VanCamp.

And the “Minnie Fridge” is in the perfect spot, VanCamp said.

“If you’re a little embarrassed about having to come get food you’re not gonna be seen by anybody,” VanCamp said. “It’s kinda tucked away and that was part of the appeal of this location.”

LOCAL NEWS
Community fridge stocks fresh food for neighbors
The “Minnie Fridge” is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, just behind the Roosevelt Community Center in Davenport.

Author: Josh Lamberty (WQAD)
Published: 10:31 PM CST January 16, 2021
Updated: 10:31 PM CST January 16, 2021
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DAVENPORT, Iowa — While the COVID-19 pandemic has increased demand for food banks, a Davenport woman is leading the charge on a new community-based food pantry.

Just behind the Roosevelt Community Center on the west end of Davenport is something ‘cool.’

“It’s really been a community and a group effort,” said Elizabeth VanCamp.

VanCamp is one of the main organizers of that effort.

“It just seemed like such an easy thing that we could do here in Davenport to address food insecurity, especially in a year like this where so many more people are experiencing food insecurity,” VanCamp said.

Just last month, VanCamp started the “Minnie Fridge,” a community-focused food pantry at the community center on Minnie Avenue.

Their mission is to keep fresh food on the shelves, and pack the fridge and freezer every day of the week.

“You don’t have to sign up, you don’t have to talk to anybody if you don’t want to,” VanCamp said.

It is all volunteer-run, with enough food for the taking and no questions asked.

“We live by the premise of everybody eats, so take what you need, leave what you don’t, and come back tomorrow if you need more,” VanCamp said.

Since opening on December 19th, the “Minnie Fridge” has seen steady demand, VanCamp said.

“There was one day last week where there was a head of lettuce in the fridge and one frozen bag of veggies in the freezer,” VanCamp said.

That demand is then replenished by the community, either through food or cash donations.

The organizers have posted guidelines for donations and for people using the fridge, which are outlined in the photo below.

Credit: WQAD/Josh Lamberty
Donation guidelines are posted on the inside of the door at the “Minnie Fridge,” and include a mask requirement for anyone accessing the space. The guidelines also outline how to organize certain items.
The cash donations allow VanCamp and other volunteers to purchase other needed items not received through donations.

“We’ll see it’s empty when we open in the morning, by 9 or 10 in the morning, everything’s stocked,” said VanCamp.

And the “Minnie Fridge” is in the perfect spot, VanCamp said.

“If you’re a little embarrassed about having to come get food you’re not gonna be seen by anybody,” VanCamp said. “It’s kinda tucked away and that was part of the appeal of this location.”

This fridge and these shelves are feeding their neighbors in need.

“I think we’re going to see this exist for a long time,” VanCamp said.

The “Minnie Fridge” is open every day from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

VanCamp said she and other organizers are considering options to expand their space, because they’ve at times received more donations than they have space to store.

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