New Community Fridge Opens on Loyola Campus
Enuf and The Hive Team up to Serve Community
Enuf, an environmental conservation organization focused on the waste crisis, launched a new community fridge service at the Loyola Campus on Jan. 23.
Titled “Megan’s Fridge,” the donation-based initiative works alongside The Hive free lunch to provide free food to community members dealing with food insecurity.
Enuf has laboured long and hard to see the inauguration. It was originally supposed to launch in the Fall 2022 semester, but was delayed due to issues with the Concordia administration.
The idea for a communal campus fridge originated before the COVID-19 pandemic, when Enuf reached out to many other community fridges in the surrounding area. When it came to finding a space for the fridge, amongst other administrative tasks, the organization faced delays.
“We would really appreciate having more support from [the Concordia] administration,” said Enuf Community Coordinator Gabriela Lopes. “If [the administration] has your back, things happen a lot faster on campus. We want to have a good relationship with Concordia for the sake of the fridge.”
Despite facing hurdles, Enuf received enough donations to launch the project. Non-perishables such as boxed macaroni and cheese, canned food and instant ramen are stored next to the fridge. Sandwiches, fruit and other perishables can be found inside. All items remain up for grabs until they are all gone.
The process to replenish the fridge is simple. When hosting events, Enuf can be invited to disregard wasted food. "The idea is that the ambassadors will the untouched surplus food from the events they go to, [...] stand next to waste stations and help participants learn how to sort their waste," said Enuf founder Keroles Riad. Any surplus, untouched food is then stocked in the fridge. "For the moment, we are only starting with unopened lunch boxes and wrapped sandwiches," he added.
“It’s for the community and run by the community,” said Lopes. “If anyone has spare food to give, don’t hesitate.”
According to a 2016 survey by Meal Exchange, nearly 40 per cent of the post-secondary population is facing food insecurity. On the flip side, almost 60 per cent of all food produced, shipped, and placed in Canadian grocery stores is thrown out despite a third of the waste being salvageable.
“This is definitely something I see myself using,” said Enuf Graphic Design Coordinator Barbara Reddick. “That’s why I’m so grateful for the food initiative. As a student, it’s tough financially.”
Up to 300 people met up at SC-200 to snag The Hive’s free lunch and to check out the two new fridges full of food. Many grabbed an extra sandwich or apple to go with their meal.
A few feet in front of the fridges stood Austen Osei, a volunteer helping out both The Hive and Enuf in the free food initiative. While giving out popcorn and coffee to students that walked by, he shared how great it felt to be participating.
“It shows that the Concordia community is willing to help each other,” said Osei. “With Megan’s Fridge especially, we’re telling people that it’s ok to ask for help, for food and for other services.”
This article has been edited from the print version to review inaccuracies related to Enuf's process of managing waste. The Link regrets the previous error.
This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 10, published January 24, 2023.