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Jackson Organizations are preparing to open "Freedges" to help feed the community


Blessings boxes provide free food for those that need it, but they can't keep fresh produce or dairy- that’s why organizations are coming together in Jackson to add community fridges.

"Food insecurity in Jackson is a big issue and we wanted to make sure that people had options for fresh produce, fresh food," said Abby Palmer the Coordinator for Love Your Block.

The city of Jackson is partnering with the Jackson Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency (JACOA) and First Methodist Downtown to open two community fridges in Jackson.

These community fridges are called Freedges short for free fridges.

The project sponsored by an AARP grant will allow Jackson to join an international network of hundreds of community fridges.

“We're very excited because we are hoping to help eliminate food disparity across our city. We're hoping to engage our community and get them involved to where they are able to come take food, come donate food and be a part of this program," Barry Cooper, JOCOA's Executive Director said.

The grant includes funding to stock the Freedges for a few months, but organizers are hoping that the community will back the project.

“We are encouraging the community to get together and donate…just like they do with blessing boxes, will join together and stock these fridges for the community," Palmer said.

The community fridges will open on September 1st and will hold produce, dairy, eggs, and more.

“This is going to help address food insecurity. It's also going to help address the issue with lack of food, and access to fresh food. So we're really, really hoping that this can help fill in some of those gaps, especially with inflation and how expensive everything is," said Palmer.

Artist Loralee Langrum created the design for the Freedges and is happy to give back by being a part of providing food for others, "It feels really, really good. There was a time in my life when I had a few meals from one of those boxes, so it means a lot to me to be a part of that," she said. Organizers are hoping that the Freedges will make others feel really good too.

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