The McMaster Community Fridge is a 24/7 accessible outdoor fridge, freezer, and pantry complex located behind Mills library, facing the parking lot. The food and toiletries found inside are stocked by the community, for the community to address the growing concern of food insecurity facing those at McMaster and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Our core value at the McMaster Community Fridge is to take what you need, and leave what you can. We encourage anyone on or around campus to take or donate items. Many people do both! At no point will any of our team members monitor how much or how frequently anyone accesses the fridge – we trust our community to honour the principles of mutual aid and know their own needs, and we ask all community members to embody this trust as well.
Our dedicated volunteer team works to maintain an organized space, provide daily updates of the fridge and pantry status, take note of request board items, and create awareness around food insecurity to help meet the needs of our community. With our core values of community care and mutual aid, we hope to demonstrate that you are not alone in experiencing food insecurity and we are here to support you!
The community fridge is maintained by volunteers – students, staff, and faculty are all welcome to join the team! We onboard new volunteers on an as-needed basis, and so it may be a few weeks or even months before we reach out to new volunteers.
Where is the fridge located?
You can find the colourfully decorated MCF shed behind Mills Library, facing Parking lot B
What hours does is the fridge open?
The fridge is open 24×7! You can take food and/or drop off a donation at any time. If the door handle seems locked, it may just be stuck (due to the weather, etc.) and need a little twisting around until it opens properly.
How much food can I take?
The limit does not exist! We ask that you are mindful of others who may need or benefit from accessing supplies in the shed, and make sure there is something left for others when possible.
What/how can I donate?
The Community Fridge would not be able to run without regular food donations! Please look at our Donation Guidelines to make sure your donations follow health & safety regulations.
Please note: In below zero temperatures during the winter, we cannot accept donations with glass packaging to the shed as it can pose a hazard.
We also encourage donations of period products (especially reusable period products) to our period pantry.
You can donate by dropping off your items directly in the fridge, freezer, or pantry as appropriate!
I am interested in getting my office/department/student group to support the fridge. How can we do that?
This is great news! There are lots of different ways your team can support the community fridge. One-time food drives are great to help supply and bring attention to the fridge, but ongoing support helps keep it sustainable over a longer period of time. Our Community Fridge Campus Donation Guide, prepared by students in the SUSTAIN 3S03 course, provides more information and can be shared conveniently with team members or supervisors. Please email email@example.com to let us know of the date(s) you have in mind if you are hoping to host a food drive or drop-off, so that we can try to ensure there is space in the fridge and we don’t have multiple larger donations coming in at the same time. Make sure to follow our donation guidelines as well! We are happy to answer any questions you may have when setting this up.
We currently have a number of Food Drives taking place throughout the month of December 2022. We ask that all incoming Food Drive initiative requests are for the 2023 year.
I’m not able to come to campus but would love to support. Can I donate money instead?
While food donations directly to the Community Fridge are the most helpful way to support the sustainability of the fridge, monetary donations are possible by making a donation through the iFund Mac – Community Fridge page.
I work at another post- secondary institution and am interested in starting our own community fridge. Can you help?
Check out the Implementing a Community Fridge: A Guidebook for Campuses, prepared for by Abbie Little from the Academic Sustainability Office. You are also welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to set up a call to share what we’ve learned from our experiences, provide suggestions, or help with problem solving! We’d love to hear about your progress along the way.
If you have any other questions about the Community Fridge contact email@example.com