LONG BEACH (CBSLA) – It’s not something you see every day, especially in the middle of a pandemic: a refrigerator on the streets of Long Beach, plugged in and stocked with food.
The fridge – which has encouraging messages scrawled on it – is located on Fourth Street near Cerritos Avenue, directly across the street from a McDonald’s restaurant.
The group who manages the refrigerator make sure it gets stocked with healthy food that anyone can take for free.
“I come in the morning and the fridge is almost completely empty, so clearly it’s speaking volumes to the necessity of access to fresh food and free food,” said organizer Senay Kenfe.
It also has writing on it in both English and Spanish such as “Take What You Need, Leave What You Don’t” and “This Fridge Belongs To You”. There’s even messaging about a mask requirement to open the refrigerator, but it’s unclear whether that’s being enforced.
Guidelines on the LA Community Fridge site say if anyone wants to donate a prepared meal to “make sure whoever prepared it has strictly followed food safety and cleanliness guidelines, such as using disposable gloves” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Similar fridges have been spotted around Southern California, including in South L.A., Mid-City, Highland Park, Exposition Park, and Arlington Heights.