Thieves stooping to new low; a fridge feeding the hungry is missing
BATON ROUGE - A fridge to help feed the community is missing—apparently stolen— and volunteers posted to Instagram asking if anyone could donate a new one.
"That's not good," Kolby Warren, who lives nearby, said.
Volunteers built a shed on the corner of Government and South 16th streets to house the fridge after Hurricane Ida.
"This is solely about helping the community, helping to meet the needs of food insecurity for people in this area and in this general vicinity," John Burney-Lewis told WBRZ in 2021.
Volunteers who keep the fridge stocked say it helps at least 100 people a week find food. People can come and go, dropping off or taking food if they're hungry. Neighbors say it is making a difference.
"It's very active, and important to a lot of people," Mat Keel, co-creator of the art space 'Yes We Cannibal' that helps run the fridge, said.
"That is really good, because people are hungry. There's a lot of homeless and hungry people," Warren said.
This isn't the first time those looking for a meal have been left empty handed. Keel says two weeks ago vandals stole the power cord off of the fridge, forcing volunteers to shut it down.
"When they unplugged it, they had to break the back, and jump over a steel fence onto our property," Keel said.
A white supremacist group may be to blame. In June, they found graffiti on the building that houses the community fridge.
"We've seen other graffiti by them close by, I think they don't like what we do. We serve a very diverse community," Keel said.
Those nearby say the need for the fridge is high and so is the frustration that people insist on destroying charity.
"It is inconsiderate, because people are hungry," Warren said.
Hungry for food and answers.
If you are able to help, you can message Baton Rouge Free Food Fridges, by clicking here.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's office released this statement;
"That’s unacceptable behavior. These fridges are there to help those less fortunate in our community. Anyone with security video or pictures can send a cloud link to BRPD or Crime Stoppers. We want to thank the organizers of the BR Community Fridge for what they are doing to help build a better community."
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