Our network

Fridges Fighting Hunger: Locals set up community refrigerators in food-insecure areas |

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Fridges Fighting Hunger: Locals set up community refrigerators in food-insecure areas

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A group of food-minded fellows are fighting hunger in Las Vegas, one refrigerator at a time.

LV Town Fridge is "a collective looking to nourish our community by creating easy access to fresh, nutritious foods for anyone who needs it,"
according to their Instagram page. And they're doing that by setting up community refrigerators and pantries where people can leave what
they can and take what they need.

The idea comes from recent UCLA graduate John Chou, who took inspiration from Instagram ads showing community refrigerators going up in places like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta.

"I thought 'Hey, what's up with Vegas?' and why not try to get a little thing going over here?" he said.

Chou has worked at several Three Square community food drives since the COVID-19 pandemic began. He started to wonder what could be done with the food waste he encountered, and how the most at-risk communities could get better access to groceries.

"Doing intake surveys and getting a feel for the kind of needs that are here in the valley, and learning that families aren't just driving across town to reach some of these distribution sites, but they're also lining up for hours before sunrise," he said. "And considering there's families that can't drive across town or they don't even know these resources are available, I went at it with that in the back of my head."

Chou gathered his friends and got to work. They got permission from the city and SNHD, obtained a refrigerator, found a business willing to host it and provide it with power, built a structure to house it and had it up and running on Sept. 17. Since then, he says the community response has been exponentially beyond his expectations.

"Donating things like pantry staples to water to pet food to feminine hygeine products, all of it is just so uplifting to see," he said.

By utilizing refrigerators, donors can leave more perishable and healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables, that they wouldn't be able to donate elsewhere. Employees from business hosting the refrigerator at 1010 North Main Street check the fridge several times a day, removing tampered food and restocking as needed.

In addition to the Main Street location, LV Town Fridge has a second fridge in the Huntridge neighborhood on Sweeney Avenue. They are always looking for new locations to host future refrigerators.

To find out more about hosting or helping, visit the @lvtownfridge Instagram account or email at lvtownfridge@gmail.com.

"This project wouldn't be anything without y'all," Chou said.