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Refrigerators full of free food coming to Memphis neighborhoods considered food deserts

Many Memphis neighborhoods don't have access to grocery stores or public transit to get to one.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Refrigerators full of free food are coming to Memphis neighborhoods considered food deserts. Organizer LJ Abraham, who is spearheading the initiative, said she wants to place some in Binghampton at the beginning of this project. 

"There’s a need for all of us as a community to come together and try to help and support one another," Abraham said. 

This necessity is one that's needed attention for a long time, but with some help from neighbors and those who care, people are going to have more options. Abraham already has half a dozen refrigerators that will be stocked with frozen, pre-made, and non-perishable meals. 

"I want them readily accessible for anybody," Abraham said.

Many communities, like Binghampton, don't have easy access to full grocery stores to feed their families. 

"I want people to have more options other than gas station food or fast food," Abraham said. "I just wanted to bring the community together and support it."

Binghampton resident Beverly Austin can't wait to see this happen. She knows there are many families in her neighborhood who need access to free food. 

"I think that’s a blessing!"

Never have families and individuals had an option like this to walk up, grab a meal, and know they are taken care of. Abraham hopes they can partner with businesses and community centers that would be willing to plug the refrigerators in on the side of their building. 

"I hope we are able to feed families in need, that we’re able to feed unhoused people, and I hope that everybody can walk away feeling good about the fact that the community decided to do something for them," Abraham said.

Those impacted by poverty and a lack of resources can know they have another good option they can hopefully just walk over to. 

"I really think so," Austin said. "Especially the elderly and the people that got children, I think so."

Volunteers will keep them stocked, cleaned, and maintained. Abraham wants this to be a successful initiative so anyone who needs a meal has a chance to get one. 

"It’s going to be there for the taking," Abraham said. "If they’re hungry and they need it then I would want them to take it and it doesn’t matter who you are. If you need it, go for it."

If you are a business, community center, or volunteer willing to donate or partner with this initiative, you can email 901communityfridges@gmail.com

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