(WSVN) - When you see an old refrigerator sitting on the side of the road, it’s usually headed for the trash, but 7’s Kevin Ozebek shows how a South Florida woman is using them to help feed her community.

So many people across South Florida are going through tough times. The pandemic has made it even harder for them to feed their families.

Sherina Jones, Village (FREE)DGE organizer: “People are losing their jobs, kids are home more than ever, and the cost of food is rising on a day-to-day basis.”‘

According to the U.S. Census, South Florida has a huge number of people who say they don’t have enough to eat. It’s one of the highest rates in the country.

Sherina Jones wanted to help fill the gap, starting with those living in Liberty City.

Sherina Jones: “People definitely need the help that we’re giving right now.”

She wasn’t sure how to help … until she came across a video on social media.

Sherina Jones: “The next video that was loading, it said ‘community refrigerator,’ and I’m like, ‘What is a community refrigerator?'”

A few weeks later, she bought a refrigerator from a local repair store. She plugged in it, and filled it with food.

It’s called the Village (FREE)DGE.

Sherina Jones: “We load it in the morning with breakfast, so in the morning, most people come get breakfast or either a lunch item, and in the afternoon, we put lunch items, and in the evening, we put dinner things in there.”

Sherina and her family work to keep the shelves stocked with fruits, vegetables and other foods. Anyone who needs something to eat is welcome to take what they need.

And it’s all free.

Danny Agnew, Roots Black House: “I thought it made sense, because we know that we needed to fill a void in the community.”

Danny Agnew and Isaiah Thomas run Roots Black House print shop on Northwest Seventh Avenue. They offered to let Sherina keep her refrigerator at their store.

Isaiah Thomas, Roots Black House: “There’s times where us ordinary citizens can be a real village to help each other out, so I decided we’d get behind family and behind a great initiative.”

Along with providing the electricity for the fridge, the print shop also serves as a base where people can drop off food or cash donations.

Danny Agnew: “There’s a wide network of people who have been donating every single day. It’s really heartening to see the effects and the reach this thing has spread through our communities.

To help reach needy residents in other parts of town, Sherina teamed up with Blossom Beauty Salon in Northwest Miami and Sweet Boutique in Opa-Locka to set up two more Village (FREE)DGES.

Sherina Jones: “I’m interacting with people, and they’re telling me how grateful they are. I feel very good to know that I’m helping someone, especially during a time like this.”

Sherina is grateful for the positive response her project has received, because it truly does take a village in these tough times.



CashApp $villagepantry

Email: free.oge.miami@gmail.com

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