WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, fresh food is available in some underserved communities in Wilmington.
“These peppers are huge,” Jessica Wescott said.READ MORE: Heavy Machinery Used To Rescue Man Buried After Earth Gives Out From Underneath Him, Philadelphia Officials Say
Wescott is feeding the neighborhood, loading fresh produce into a refrigerator that sits outside the Kingswood Community Center in Wilmington.
“We’re really excited to be able to meet needs in multiple areas of Wilmington,” Wescott said.
Wescott started this community fridge, and she knows food. Her nonprofit Planting to Feed, Inc. has managed the community garden at Kingswood since 2017. During COVID, they shifted to giving out food outdoors, but winter was coming.
“So, I started doing some research and I was like, there’s no community fridge in Delaware,” Wescott said. “We already have the infrastructure as a nonprofit, we already have some produce and a great way to kind of funnel and pipeline into the refrigerators. Why not?”
The project started in December with one fridge. A second fridge just opened nearby, outside the nonprofit The Warehouse on Thatcher Street.READ MORE: Pink Offering To Pay Norwegian Women's Beach Handball Team's Fine For Wearing Shorts
At least twice a week, Wescott and other volunteers restock with fruits, vegetables, even non-milk alternatives. There are frozen meals too, some of them school lunches donated by parents.
After restocking, Wescott will take a photo and post it on social media, so the community can see what’s available and take what they need.
“It’s always being utilized, which is great,” Wescott said.
The fridges fill a big need. The nearest supermarket with fresh food is more than a mile away.
“They don’t have to worry about carrying grocery bags from the grocery store and walking over a mile just so they have access to fresh food,” Kingswood Community Center Director of Operations Julie Bieber said.
Sometimes, a good Samaritan will restock the fridge. Donors can also pay to sponsor a week’s worth of food. And Wescott plans to bring more community refrigerators.
“I’m excited to expand and grow this community refrigerator program,” Wescott said.MORE NEWS: CDC To Recommend Vaccinated People In Certain Areas Resume Wearing Masks
If you’d like to know more about the community fridge, click here.