This community fridge in Philadelphia is helping those in need

ByJessica Boyington and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
This community fridge in Philadelphia is helping those in need
A Philadelphia teacher has come up with the Germantown community fridge to help feed those in need.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia teacher has come up with a creative way to help feed those in need.

Jane Ellis of Mount Airy is a fourth-grade teacher at Greene Street Friends School in Philadelphia's Germantown section.

"I love kids. I love teaching. I love learning. I love reading books, and learning new things, and there's nothing better than seeing the light in kids when they're learning something and they're getting excited about it," she said.

As teaching went virtual, Ellis was searching for ways to connect with her students and the community. So she pitched the idea of the "Germantown Fridge" to the school, and they approved it.

"Germantown community fridge is a free fridge run by the community and it's for the community and it's meant to get free food to anyone who needs to take from it," she said.

The fridge is on the outside of the school surrounded by a wooden shed, so anyone can safely access it 24/7, no questions asked.

"As word has gotten out, we've gotten a lot of local organizations and grocery shops and bakeries who donated consistently," she said. "Some people make a homemade meal and then they'll put it in bulk and put it into the fridge which is really nice too."

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They even have a motto: "Take what you need and leave what you can."

"I think the most beautiful thing about the fridge is how much it promotes community. The amount of people that I've met through this and have met each other, whether it's been through building the shed or talking to a community member who is donating food or taking food, whether it's COVID times or not, I am hoping that people can see that like even just something like a refrigerator can really build communal bonds."