top of page

Frequently Asked Questions

Food insecurity is defined as a lack of access to a sufficient quantity of healthy, affordable food.

What is food insecurity?

Food waste is an environmental crisis because of its devastating impact on our climate.


Currently, food waste is contributing 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. This is largely because food that ends up in landfills and decomposes releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas that is at least 28 times more potent than CO2.

The United States generates more food waste than any other country, and nearly 40% of food waste is healthy fresh fruits and vegetables.

How does food waste affect the environment?

Contact us to discuss any of the following opportunities:

  • Deliveries 

  • Food drives 

  • Fundraising events 

  • Start your own fridge

How can I get involved?

Food rescue, also called food recovery, is the practice of collecting fresh, edible food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants, grocery stores, dining facilities, and other food establishments and distributing it to food pantries, local social service agencies, and community organizations.

What is food rescue?

Where do you rescue food from?

Farms, grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, dining facilities, and school cafeterias. 

Is it safe to donate, transport, and/or receive rescued food?

Yes. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act passed into law by Congress in 1997 states that donors are protected from both civil and criminal liability when donating food in good faith to a nonprofit organization, even if the donated food later causes harm to a recipient. It also protects nonprofit organizations from civil or criminal liability arising from a good-faith donation for distribution to needy individuals. This law was created to encourage the donation of food and grocery products.


To access the Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, click here

Food waste is safe-to-eat food that gets thrown away instead of eaten. Restaurants, grocery stores, and farms waste food because of things like:

  • Ugly or oddly shaped fruits and veggies

  • Upcoming sell-by or expiration dates (food is often still safe to eat)

  • Overproduction at farms

  • Food damage during transport

When we dispose of excess food, rather than channeling it to people in need, we also waste the water, labor, and energy expended to produce, process, transport, prepare, store, and dispose of discarded food.


The EPA aims to reduce this food waste to 164 pounds per person by 2030.

What is food waste?

A community fridge helps to serve the food-insecure. The fridge, which specifically contains perishable food items, acts as one source of food for the community. It provides perishable food items for individuals who have trouble affording meals and/or groceries. The Friendly Fridge Network contributes assistance to communities with no questions asked. The community fridge helps reduce the stigma associated with monitored food pantries.

What does a community fridge do?

To start a community fridge, begin with research. After understanding the impacts of a community fridge, ask around. The more support the better! You can also begin your search for a location capable of supplying 24/7 electricity with heavy foot traffic. Definitely communicate with store owners to ask for permission. Next, you will need a fridge. We find that while used refrigerators are cheaper, they tend not to last. If possible, try to find a new or very gently used fridge. Make sure to post fliers and spread the word to neighbors, family, and friends.


Additional, more in-depth guides to starting a community fridge can be found through our partner Freedge.


If you’re interested in joining the Friendly Fridge Network, please reach out to us. We would be more than happy to offer our knowledge regarding the world of community fridges. The Friendly Fridge Network is also able to provide microgrants to help purchase your refrigerator as well as a stipend to pay for electricity.

How can I start a community fridge?

Community fridges belong in areas where all people in need have access–specifically, in areas with high foot traffic. We aim to reach underserved and food-insecure neighborhoods.

Where do community fridges belong?

A community fridge is used to support those who cannot afford everyday meals and/or groceries. The fridge also acts as a supplement to a non-perishable food pantry. Fresh produce, dairy, and bread are always appreciated in the fridge. Additionally, through our efforts, we have discovered that complete packaged meals are the most popular. Although our goal is not to become the complete food source for those in need, we hope to provide as much food as we can.

What goes in a community fridge?

bottom of page