Community refrigerator stocked with food stolen from non-profit in Hunting Park

"We would've definitely helped them. We could have found them a refrigerator for sure," the non-profit's founder said.

Sharifa Jackson Image
Thursday, February 23, 2023
Community refrigerator stocked with food stolen from non-profit
Community refrigerator stocked with food stolen from non-profit

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As I Plant This Seed non-profit helps feed their Hunting Park neighborhood through their community fridge.

The free, no questions asked, take what you need-style refrigerator usually sits outside their building on the 3500 block of North 9th Street, but not anymore.

It was stolen earlier this week.

"I was like, 'wow, a refrigerator though?'" said Kysheen Wilson, who helps mentor youth in the program. "I was really upset about it. It's like tragic in this neighborhood."

The organization's CEO and founder Ryan Harris took to social media with his initial state of shock. He says the missing fridge will leave a huge void.

The pantry is heavily used and needs to be restocked almost daily. Groceries come from community organizations, volunteers and even neighbors.

"We know that there's definitely a food disparity in our community. We like to make sure we can serve our community, filling the refrigerator up with groceries, whatever they may need," Harris said. "Anybody can go put food in there, anybody can go take food out."

Harris says community members are already stepping up to help replace the refrigerator.

He hopes to be back up and running with a new fridge by next week, but before it goes back on the street they plan to bolt it down and beef-up security measures in the area.

"We're not mad. This is normal. We know what community we live in," said Harris.

"It was simple as knocking on the door and asking for whatever they needed and we would've definitely helped them," he said. "We could've found them a refrigerator for sure."