Jammella Anderson, the founder of Free Food Fridge Albany, wanted to make fresh, perishable food available to marginalized communities.
Food accessibility was already an issue, and the pandemic compounded these problems. So Jammella and a group of volunteers decided to take action with a community food project in Albany.
Times Magazine Recognizes Jammella
In the March 2021 edition of Time Magazine, Jammella was recognized as a woman making a difference in her community. Oh, and she was featured on the cover!
The article starts, “Just before 3 p.m. on a warm Wednesday in February, 30-year-old Jammella Anderson—donning heart-shaped glasses, a Black Lives Matter tee and 2-in. platform boots—strolls up to a small bicycle-repair shop just north of Albany, N.Y. She’s here to persuade Troy Bike Rescue to let her use an electrical outlet so she can plug in a new refrigerator just outside the shop’s front door.
How the Free Food Fridge Began
29-year-old Albany resident, Jammella Anderson, has always been concerned about food security. “It’s part of my personal journey and quest,” says Anderson. “I wanted to work with underserved communities because I am a black woman.”
“And I know, being someone who has grown up without that security was really difficult. So this has a personal place in my heart.” As a result of Covid, Jammella and a few friends came together with the idea of a food fridge. “Other cities like New York have similar projects, going with more of a give-some-take-some idea. My idea is a restoration project,” Anderson says. “Thankfully, we received a lot of media presence, so people were really excited to help amplify it,” she explained. And she has successfully raising money to support the food fridge project for the past 10 months.
Supporting the Free Food Fridge Project
Anderson is grateful for all forms of support, but she outlined some specific ways that you can get involved. “The members of the community with the financial means can support the mission financially. This allows us to provide food for the fridges through donations to the project,” explained Anderson. “Monetary donations are a huge help.” You can find Free Food Fridge Albany on PayPal by searching for firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can Venmo @Jammella-Anderson or use Cash App at $JammellaAnderson.
If you’re looking for other ways to contribute, they’re always looking for fresh foods. For example, perishable items like milk, eggs, fresh vegetables, and any meal enhancers you can think of. “If you want to donate food regularly, we can assign you specific things for a specific fridge,” explained Anderson. One time donations are certainly welcome, but the Free Food Fridge goal is to create sustainability. On their website, you can also see what volunteer positions they’re looking to fill like fridge managers, and administrative work. Even artists can help by making the fridges beautiful!
Where to Find A Free Food Fridge and How it Works
If you need food, you can just walk up to a Free Food Fridge and help yourself – simple as that. If you want to put food in the fridges, you must first contact the organization.
“We want to help monitor what’s going in and out and it’s crucial that we abide by health rules and regulations,” explained Anderson.
Connect with The Free Food Fridge
Written by: Jessica Kelly
Jess is a journalist and photographer with a focus on food, travel, and entertainment. She’s written for over 10 different local publications in New York State, in addition to the Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, AAA Northeast, Eater, Dame Traveler, Food52, Insider, Wine Enthusiast, Kitchn, AAA World Magazine, Thrillist, and more. Follow her adventures on Instagram @Adventures.Are.Waiting.