INGLEWOOD — The community fridge concept has increased in popularity due largely in part to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The fridge is open to the public to either leave or take items, as they please, 24 hours a day. The latest community fridge was installed at the Crenshaw Dairy Mart in Inglewood.
“It made sense that the community fridge be located at a central, notable location within the community,” said Juice Wood of the Homiez Collective. “The Crenshaw Dairy Mart has a historic reputation across many generations of Inglewood’s champions, and although not a functioning convenience store anymore, being able to revive some of the Dairy Mart’s initial purpose to hydrate and nourish the community is exciting.”
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart is also home to art popups produced by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who began the BLM movement to bring attention to police shootings of unarmed Black men around the nation.
“Patrisse, Alex and Noe of the Crenshaw Dairy Mart were very influential and eager in making the fridge happen,” Wood said.
The fridge is regularly stocked with food, water and other dry items that are fresh and made possible through a variety of funding sources.
“The Homiez Collective, EveryTable, Polos Pantry, Burrito Project LA and donations from the community keep the fridge going,” Wood said.
A community fridge in the city of Hawthorne caught the ire of the city’s code enforcement department, which shut the fridge due to a lack of permits. So far, the Inglewood Community Fridge has been trouble free, providing uninterrupted service to Inglewood residents and passers-by.
“We believe the city of Inglewood has learned from some of the griefs of other community fridges,” Wood said. “Our fridge location stays clean, is sanitized three times per day, seven days a week, and we closely monitor all donations to ensure proper health and safety requirements.”
There are no current plans to expand to other areas of Crenshaw but the people that operate the fridge will upgrade its products to ensure it remains a source for Inglewood residents to enjoy.
The Crenshaw Dairy Mart is located at 8629 Crenshaw Blvd., near the intersection of Crenshaw and Manchester and is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.