//Eli Zain, founder of Denver Community Fridge, stands near the Huckleberry Roaster fridge location on Jan, 14. Photo by Polina Saran | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Mayhem reporters Polina Saran and Madison Lauterbach spoke with the team behind Denver Community Fridges. The group coordinates locations with outdoor power sources and donated fridges to bring the surrounding community completely free food and personal necessities. The first of their four locations across Denver opened in December, and they have big plans to expand that number.
Eli Zain, the founder of the project, moved to Denver from Southern California around a year ago. During the Black Lives Matter protests and the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020, they saw the need for direct community action. The project is part of a growing movement of mutual aid that has cropped up as the houseless population is growing across the country. Zain was inspired by the community fridges like The Friendly Fridge in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City, and those in Los Angeles and Chicago.
The food and personal items in the fridges and pantries at the four locations are available for anyone to use, regardless of socioeconomic status. Anyone may donate produce, prepared meals or personal items.
If you’re interested in learning more about the project, visit them on Instagram @denvercommunityfridge.
Photo, video and interviews by Polina Saran. Eli Zain interview by Madison Lauterbach.