Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Community fridge targeted by vandals again

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BATON ROUGE - There was little activity Monday at the usually busy community fridge and pantry located in Mid-City on Government Street.

It's been locked since vandals decided to steal its power source over the weekend.

"I saw that someone pulled off the panel that secures the cord in there and I realized that a 100-foot-long extension cord that runs through the back of our space was gone," said Mat Keel, co-creator of the art space 'Yes We Cannibal' that helps run the fridge.

The project was started after Hurricane Ida to help provide the neighboring communities with non-perishables along with fresh fruits, veggies and home-cooked meals.

"Certainly on a weekly basis at least 100 people use the fridge and a quarter of that many drop off foods. It's very, very active. Some have come by today very concerned and asked what's going on."

Because it was built by volunteers, they weren't able to properly power the fridge, hence the very long extension cord.

"What we really desperately need is an electrician out there who will volunteer their labor or work at a reduced rate to help us run a proper line out to the fridge so that this doesn't happen again."

Keel isn't sure why someone would do this, but it isn't the first time they've been hit by vandals. In June, they were targeted by a white-supremacist group that spray painted their building.

"I think they don't like a lot of what we do. We serve a diverse community, a lot of black community members, a lot of queer community members and so I think they're not big fans of us and so there's always the possibility they're involved in this too."


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