#1MExperiments



A Virtual Zine Project
c/o Project Nia & Interrupting Criminalization

Explore snapshots of community-based safety strategies that expand our ideas about what keeps us safe.

One Million Experiments is...

︎︎︎ a place to browse community-based safety projects for inspiration, 

︎︎︎ a newsletter featuring zines that highlight the nuts and bolts of particular projects, and

︎︎︎ an opportunity to share your projects.

Experiments updated at the beginning of the month. Follow @interruptcrim for news.



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[Tatiana Smith organizes the fridge outside her house in Jersey City. Photograph: Ismail Ferdous/The Guardian]

STREET FRIDGES



Location: CA, FL, MN, NY, NJ, TX +

Organization: In Our Hearts 

Contact: inourhearts@gmail.com

“We’ve been coordinating with people all over looking to start community fridges in their areas. Contact us here and email IOH so we can help you and maybe even connect you with people in your area looking to do the same thing!“

︎ Does not collaborate with police
︎ Volunteer-led
︎ Offered at no cost to participants
In May, two months after Marianne Pita recovered from Covid-19, she heard about a fridge set up on a street corner not far from her house in the Bronx. Neighbors and local businesses could donate food – homemade, store-bought, or leftover from a day’s sales – and anyone who needed food could take some.

The fridge helps feed people in the middle of a pandemic and mass unemployment – in a year where as many as 54m Americans could need food aid.

“There are no strings attached and no questions asked,” says Pita.

“Mutual aid means something different than the way welfare works, where you’re being quizzed [on your need], because you have to qualify for the aid. You have to be really, really [good],” explains Pita, who volunteers delivering food to local fridges. “And that’s not what we’re saying.”

At least 15 other community fridges have been set up in the five New York boroughs and New Jersey. Los Angeles and Oakland both have networks of community fridges up and running, and grassroots efforts to start community fridges in Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Miami are taking off.

The idea of community fridges – and more broadly, of free food for all who need it – has been around for decades. More than 50 years ago, the Black Panther Party distributed free breakfast to children out of a local church in the Bronx; a radical program for its time that paved the way for the US government to follow suit in 1975.

Today “there’s so many people that are involved as fridge-keepers,” says Adela Wagner, 30, who helps with a community fridge in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. They range from those who donate food – bakeries, community gardens, farmers markets and more – to neighbors who keep an eye on it throughout the day. “Most of them are not given credit,” Wagner says.

Excerpted From: 'No one should go hungry': street fridges of free food help Americans survive Covid pandemic, Frida Graza, The Guardian, August 10, 2020