The Brooklyn Heights Community Fridge is up and running to feed the hungry and serve as a hub of giving and caring in the neighborhood. We spoke with Rev. Adriene Thorne of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, whose outreach to the community made it all possible.
The idea for the community fridge came from Darryahn Knight, who was my daughter’s babysitter and who went on to found a community organization, Dwntown Friendly. Darryahn mentioned that there were over 100 of these refrigerators spread out in NYC. There’s one in nearby Gowanus. So I went on the Nextdoor app and asked for help with installing one here in Brooklyn Heights. The response was overwhelming from either people with resources or those who wanted to donate whatever they could through Venmo or Paypal. People offered to pay for the fridge. Folks from Brooklyn Heights Synogogue and Plymouth Church offered help. And a parent at Packer, Jenny Hunter, was instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Jenny connected us with an architect and contractor to build a gate house for the fridge. The effort was so impressive. The architect even came with color swatches to make sure that the structure fit the look of the neighborhood.
The level of creativity and generosity has me excited about our community. Brooklyn Heights isn’t necessarily a churched neighborhood, where everyone is part of a worship community. But it is a good-hearted and resourceful neighborhood. People want to help if the opportunities are presented. Jenny and I have discussed the fridge being sort of a neighborhood water cooler, where people can hang out and where we can host justice projects, or crafts projects for kids, and other community events. Children at Packer and St. Ann’s will help clean occasionally and run food drives for the fridge. I’ve been involved in many projects through our church over the years, but this one feels like the biggest accomplishment and most dear to my heart. I so appreciate everyone who helped, and everyone who has or will donate to the fridge.
- Fresh produce.
- New eggs, milk, and cheese in store packaging with expiration dates.
- Fully cooked store-bought or home-cooked meals with clear labels.
- Label any prepared food with name of dish, date cooked, and any allergens.
Please no raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
Donate at 124 Henry St. adjacent to First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn and follow on Instagram @brooklynheightscommunityfridge. (Last 4 photos courtesy Instagram posts.)