What’s in the freeedge? Opening of the free community fridge
CCSI executive director Andrea Cosans said she read an Associated Press article about a freedge in another community and thought, “Good idea. No way CCSI can do that. Two or three weeks later, a benefactor gentleman came and said, ‘I’ll give you $10,000 to do this.’
The contribution came from Winchester resident John Copenhaver and his wife Marsha through the John D. Copenhaver and Marsha A. Childs Justice Fund, which was established by the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.
“Food is about justice,” Copenhaver said. “From our point of view, no one should be food insecure.”
He said he liked the idea of a freeedge in Winchester and was “excited” about what it could do for the community.
So Copenhaver introduced Cosans to Pastor David Young of Bethel Lutheran Church in Frederick County, and they formed a steering committee to get the project started. Several local organizations have expressed support for promoting and assisting freeedge, and Our Health has allowed freeedge to be placed on its campus.
Cosans said wastelands are placed in “food deserts” where food insecurity exists to provide nutritious foods such as fresh produce.
Although Copenhagen provided funds to get the project started, the freedge needs community support to be sustainable.
Cosans said she hopes the community will “own” the freeedge. If people or restaurants want to donate food or volunteer to clean the freedge, they should contact CCSI. Items needed for freeedge include produce, shelf stable items, and frozen soups.
CCAP is a non-profit charity based in Winchester that provides financial aid, food and clothing to area residents in need.
Other organizations involved in the freedge project include Just Serve, Valley Health, Community Foundation of NSV, Shenandoah Valley Interfaith Council, Downtown Council of Churches, Bethel Lutheran Church, Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and even. Elite Partners.