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Six community fridges added in East Baton Rouge Parish

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BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Housing Authority, Healthy Blue, and the Walls Project Urban farm partnered up to fight back against food insecurity in 11 communities.

A $40,000 grant provided by Healthy Blue went on to purchase 11 freegerators. The new installation of the refrigerators, placed throughout East Baton Rouge Parish in low-income communities, will upgrade the fresh harvest operation that stems from Harmony Gardens.

Tuesday, the Kelly Terrace housing community got their new installed refrigerator to store fresh produce.

"It's the best thing ever...it beats going to the grocery store because you have to go to the grocery store you got to pay for it, and then you got to pay for the taxes. Why pay for it when it's free."

Gladys Young is one of several volunteers who works in the garden. She says it's a great addition to the project.

"Housing does marvelous stuff for their residents," Gladys said.

The goal of the East Baton Rouge Housing Authority and Healthy Blue is to extend the shelf life of freshly pulled produce.

"To make sure that when the food is grown, they have a place to put the food simply if it's plentiful. If it's plentiful, we did not want to throw away anything," said Kathy Victorian, Health Blue's Marketing Manager.

Victorian says that this comes at a perfect time with Thanksgiving being only two days away.

"Having a community garden and having the refrigeration to store the produce that's grown there that gives us hopes, give us love especially around this time of the year."

She says it also gives them a chance to help families fight against food insecurity and promotes healthy eating choices.

"It's an initiative where they can grow and pick their own food, and they can learn this tool and skill and use it elsewhere," Victorian said.

"I like it because not everyone knows how to garden, and if you come out and learn how to garden, you can get you some pots, and if not at least you can just come out here and learn," Young said.

Six refrigerators have been installed, and five more will be installed later this year.

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