“With the education and perspectives I gained at YYGS, I have become a better informed leader and listener to others–I hope to extend my experience though becoming an ambassador.”
My simulation proposal, focusing on food insecurity caused by COVID-19, inspired me to look into ways my community has access to free food. I eventually ended up on the LA Community Fridges Instagram page where I learned that they were a mutual aid group involving a network of fridges across Los Angeles where anyone can access them with the principle of “take what you need, leave what you don’t.” With the research I’d done at YYGS and discovery that nearly a quarter of LA County residents have suffered a moment of food insecurity since the beginning of quarantine, I knew that I wanted to involve myself and give back to my community with this unique collective.
I first began fundraising for money to buy food to fill the fridges. I created a flyer that I shared with friends, telling them about the fridges and gave an incentive of sending them a tie-dyed sweatshirt if they donated $20 or more. Through this, I was able to raise nearly $100.
I also reached out to restaurants in my area and got a response from Health Nut, a local salad shop, who agreed to donate their leftovers from the day prior. My drop off was scheduled for January 2nd, so on New Year’s Day I drove to the supermarket with my dad to purchase the items the fridges said they needed on Slack. We decided that with the money and donations we had we would be able to stock three fridges with essentials.
Beyond providing assistance to my community, this project was an excellent way to see new parts of the city and meet new people. The first round of this initiative was a success, and I am looking forward to doing this on a monthly basis in the future.