The JP Community Fridge

In the summer season of 2020 the JP community fridge found its host, D'Friends Barber Shop located in Jamaica Plain Massachusetts. As soon as the fridge popped up at it's home base, the community rallied around it as well. Not only was there an abundance of help from local shops, local artists, and local chefs but the JP community fridge was making waves through local news outlets and social media too. The fridge caught my attention around late September of 2020. A free public community fridge that let people take what they need and leave what they can. I thought about how great of an idea this was to tackle food insecurity many families are facing, especially as they struggle through a pandemic and an economic crash as well but little did I know that the JP Community Fridge would be a whole lot more. 

After speaking with Josiel Gonzalez, one of the architects behind the JP Community Fridge, I learned that this fridge was capable of supplying more than just food for people in need of it. Not only was the fridge a great way to tackle hunger for people who need food, but it was also great in many other aspects. It was encouraging people to eat nutritious foods, it was an amazing alternative to food waste, it was fighting against the capitalistic food system, and it was bringing a community together during a time where everyone was more distant.

During the month of October I photographed the inside of the JP Community Fridge and freezer almost everyday, and sometimes twice a day, to see how useful this fridge could be. To my surprise, every day that I visited, the fridge looked completely different. Various fruits, veggies, breads, and drinks would move around from shelf to shelf as each day passed. New food and pre-made meals would stock the shelves of the fridge as if the fridge was growing this food on its own. As Josiel said "It's the fridge that keeps on giving!" 

This made me think back to the idea of how the fridge is bringing the community together during a time where everyone is more distant. The traces of food movement in the fridge that people had left behind made me realize that we weren't as distant as we thought. Even though the community was physically distant from one another, they we're mentally invested in the fridge and that was something that connected everyone around the JP Community Fridge. 

The JP Community Fridge is currently looking for a new host.

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