'Freedge' Movement Aims to Save Environment, Feed Hungry by Cutting Food Waste

Aug 1, 2023

Thought Question: What are some creative ways to reduce food waste and promote support and kindness within your own community?

This directive can be read in multiple languages on sidewalks around the world: “take what you need, leave what you can.”

The slogan belongs to the community fridge movement. It's an idea that took hold during the COVID-19 pandemic and is still growing. The idea is to place refrigerators in public places where anyone can leave food that’s still fresh. And anyone can take the food.  

These “freedges,” as they are called, address two key problems. They provide an answer to food insecurity. They also reduce the massive amount of food waste that gets tossed in landfills. There, it rots and turns into methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas

“Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources,” the European Commission states.

According to the United Nations World Food Program, roughly 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That's about a third of all of the world’s food. In response, community leaders around the globe have opened hundreds of community fridges. Some are making a big impact.

Geneva, Switzerland, for example, opened its first sidewalk fridge to the public in 2022. By the end of the year, that fridge saved as much as 3.2 tons of food from going to the dumpster. That's according to the head of the nonprofit leading the effort who spoke with The Associated Press. The city now has five of these fridges. 

Shala Moradi, 65, is grateful for the service. “It’s very good. I can take strawberries, cherries, things like that,” Moradi told the AP. “The free (part): I like that too.”

Photo from The Love Fridge.

The story is mostly about _______. (Common Core RI.5.2; RI.6.2)
a. the European Commission's efforts to preserve natural resources
b. the benefits of sidewalk refrigerators in Geneva, Switzerland
c. the popularity and impact of community fridges in addressing food insecurity and reducing organic waste
d. the amount of food wasted globally every year
For more formative assessments, visit thejuicelearning.com to start a free trial.

News brought to you by The Juice

Start a free trial today