After city threatens to shut it down, E. Johnson community fridge finds a new home

MADISON, Wis.– One of Madison’s community fridges is on the move! After one year on East Johnson, the curbside food pantry is heading two blocks north to Christ Presbyterian Church.

“I’m glad they found a place for it on the east side,” said Jennie Mauer, an east-sider who donates to the fridge. “We have a routine. We go there every week.”

The move is good news for people in the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood who rely on the refrigerator for food. Earlier this spring, its future was in jeopardy after city inspectors threatened to shut it down, citing zoning laws.

But now that the fridge has a new home, it can continue its ‘take what you need, leave what you can’ mission.

“It’s one of our family’s values,” Mauer explained. “We don’t like to waste food and we like to share with others. This is a really easy way to do both.”

Mauer donates extra items she knows her family won’t use from the boxes the school district sends home with her children.

Volunteers from the River Food Pantry, local restaurants, and grocery stores also help fill the fridge, with nearly 500 pounds of fresh food a week.

Anyone can give or get food from the fridge. The curbside pantry offers fresh produce and prepared meals, as well as non-refrigerated pantry staples.

Click here for more information on Madison Community Fridges, which also operates a second refrigerator on S. Mills Street on the city’s near-west side.

And click here to connect with Madison Community Fridges on Instagram, and find out what items the local sites need!