Hello, my lovely subscribers, readers, and supporters, happy January! Have you been enjoying the lemon series so far? I have had such a wonderful time getting to know all of my small business partners better throughout the series. I'll admit my mailroom downstairs must detest me for the number of packages I receive, but I love seeing all the elements of the lemon box coming together. I've started to ship some of the boxes early but expect to have everyone's orders out by the first week of February!
Another shameless plug, but this would be a great box for Valentine's Day! It's tangy and pretty darn unique!
🍋 Love Fridge Chicago 🍋
I wanted to dedicate this blog post to my lemon box's charity, which is the Love Fridge Chicago. I first learned about The Love Fridge Chicago through my local grocer, Local Foods. I just remember seeing a post on Instagram and thinking "wow, refrigerators filled with food around the city." In case you're unfamiliar with them:
"The Love Fridge Chicago works by installing refrigerators filled with food around the city. The refrigerators are available for anyone to take what they need at any time of day. Radius defines this as a mutual aid model, explaining that local residents regularly typically restock the fridges." (I'm quoting an article I wrote for my internship with Food Tank with a link to the full article below).
At first, I was wondering why people would need fridges when soup kitchens and food stamps existed. But the more I researched food apartheid, the systematic racism that keeps people of color from quality fresh food, the more upset I got. I have a very specific diet with my nutrition coach and I was constantly rotating through new foods. I always had leftover bulk dry goods and sometimes fresh food. I was always cleaning out the pantry and that's why my husband and I got in the car and drove to one of these fridges.
Seeing a refrigerator up close changed me. The artwork on the fridge was beautiful and what struck me was there was no shame around these refrigerators. They were welcoming - it conveyed to me "Come, take what you need, it's all good here." So we left our dry goods behind and cleaned the fridge. That's when I knew I wanted Love Fridge Chicago to be my next partner.
This upcoming weekend I will be dropping off 100 organic lemons to the 15 different refrigerators around the city. I'll be filming a vlog and I'll update this post when the video is live. If you have the means, please consider donating your time or foods to those in need.
You can read my article by clicking the link or image below: Mutual Aid: Chicago’s Love Fridge Fights Food Apartheid