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Buffalo woman starts a community fridge for those in need

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Posted at 4:52 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 15:31:30-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — At 257 East Ferry Street, you'll find a resource to help neighbors in need.

"I think Buffalo really has the chance and ability to want to really come together and put some positivity into the air right now you know?" said Jessie Reardon.

Reardon is the woman behind the Buffalo Community Fridge. She's also a registered nurse at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The fridge is for anyone who needs fresh produce, baby food or even a pre-packaged meal. She got all the logistics together starting in July and put the fridge out last week.

Reardon said fridge was a donation from a friend. Since then, a few others have offered to find fridges for the effort.

"The ultimate goal is to for there to be refrigerators all over the city, in every neighborhood, all over. Spreading mutual aid giving food to people that need it," said Reardon.

It's a resource critical to Buffalo's east side, which is considered a food desert.

"It's hard to get fresh fruit and the natural resources that our families need for their children, so they have the proper nutrition," said Pastor Dwayne Jones, with Mt. Aaron Missionary Baptist Church.

Pastor Jones, an advocate for getting produce to food deserts, said there's only one supermarket on the east side.

He's been working on a local, state and federal level to get more supermarkets to that area.

"We need a supermarket down on this part of the east side," he said. "Everybody needs an apple, fresh milk, everybody needs fresh milk, fresh produce."

Right now, Reardon wants other people to get encouraged to host a refrigerator themselves, and she is more than willing to help them get started.

"Anyone can do this, absolutely. It is anyone's project, it's just as much as your project as it is my project," she said.

Any food items are accepted, except raw meat or seafood. And if you prepare a meal at home, she asks that you list the ingredients and put a date on it.