Philanthropists recommission Miami’s Village (Free)dge food bank

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MIAMI – The day the (Free)dge Village closed was heartbreaking for the woman who opened it and had to turn away people in need. But a group of proactive philanthropists put an end to the desperation and the food bank reopened to rejoice.

Sherina Jones first set up a fridge with free healthy food that was ready to eat about two years ago outside a store in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. The community quickly started using it.

On Monday, the fridge and pantry shelves were empty. Jones told Local 10 News that donations have dried up just as people are dealing with the rising cost of living.

“Given that we’re a lifeline to so many people who depend on us on a daily basis, like I was really crushed to know that we couldn’t serve them the next day,” Jones said.

Jones said Local 10 News raised awareness and philanthropists responded with cash and food donations. Even local grocery stores have reacted to avoid food waste.

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“Things that are saved from Trader Joe’s that would normally go in the trash, so we created a system to save those types of foods,” Jones said.

The pantry along Seventh Avenue in front of the Roots Collective is open six days a week. Jones said when the shelves are full, the pantry feeds more than 300 families.

“We definitely need more of this kind of monetary support, so we can continue through this year and maybe even years to come until we get some grants,” Jones said.

HOW TO HELP

For more information on how to help, visit the Village (Free)dge page.

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