Community fridges show up in L.A. neighborhoods to feed those in need

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Joshua Mock, at right with son Nolan, owns Little Amsterdam coffee shop in Mid-City. The shop hosts a community fridge. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Joshua Mock, at right with son Nolan, owns Little Amsterdam coffee shop in Mid-City. The shop hosts a community fridge. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

In Mid-City, a refrigerator stands on the sidewalk outside Little Amsterdam coffee shop. This is no ordinary sidewalk fridge — dank and empty, waiting to be picked up by sanitation services — but a community fridge: cold, clean and well-stocked with food.

Behind its frosty glass door is a wheel of Cacique queso fresco, a carton of eggs, squash, kale, Lunchables and half a gallon of milk. On its side, there’s a mural of a young man eating an apple, the words “Eat to Live” etched into his curly cropped hair.

The fridge, hosted by 40-year-old Little Amsterdam owner Joshua Mock, is part of a growing mutual aid network called Los Angeles Community Fridges that assists in setting up community-run, free-food fridges across the city, and offers resources and tips for people to do so themselves. These refrigerators are hosted and sustained by businesses, organizations and individuals, and supported through the network of more than 60 organizers across Los Angeles.

Inspired by similar efforts in New York City, including by the activist collective A New World in Our Hearts, the idea is to empower communities, feed people and eliminate food waste.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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