Chicago's First-Ever Solar Powered Community Fridge Is Successfully Running In Englewood
Photo Credit: Ello

Chicago's First-Ever Solar Powered Community Fridge Is Successfully Running In Englewood

This initiative is making the world a better place, starting with Chicago neighborhoods. 

The Love Fridge — a Chicago mutual aid group  — supports the community with food through using sustainable energy, according to Fox 32 Chicago. 

What The Love Fridge Offers

Under the slogan “Take what you need, leave what you can,” community members have access to free food from a fridge. The fridge is also filled with vegetables in the garden next to it. 

Where To Find Them

Currently, there are 24 fridges in Chicago including Englewood — which is a food desert. The Englewood location is marked as the first fridge powered by solar panels.

“The 1st ever SOLAR POWERED community refrigerator (i.e. FREE FOOD) in Chicago has been up and running for two weeks now,” said Keyante Aytch, who is the co-founder of SunBend Solar, a partner of The Love Fridge.

According to Eric Von Haynes, Food Sovereignty and Mutual Aid Advocate with The Love Fridge, the solar allows people that use the community garden to operate power tools, lighting, and other devices in Englewood.

How It All Works

Immediate efforts come from the leaders behind The Love Fridge, but community members are encouraged to sign up and help volunteer by providing food and keeping the fridges clean. 

“It’s a beautiful sentiment, because we’re working on creating a sustainable system, to also think about the capacity, the energy capacity, of a site,” Haynes said.

The Overall Mission

The basis of the mutual aid is for the basic needs of the community to be met by contributions from people who also live in it. In short, it’s focused on solidarity not charity, as well as autonomy.

“We are powered by kindness, generosity, love, and the belief that being able to feed yourself is a right, not a privilege,” its website states. “Our goal is to nourish our community while working against food apartheid and food waste, alongside other like-minded community partners.”

How To Support

For donations, The Love Fridge requests for people to follow its food donation guidelines. To learn more about the mutual aid group, click here.