New Food Security Partnership – Community Fridges Toronto (CFTO)
Community Fridges Toronto (CFTO) is a Toronto-based volunteer-driven community initiative with a network of fridges and pantries that offer free food to combat food insecurity. Necessities like fresh produce, whole meals, pantry goods, and personal care items can be accessed by anyone, at any time of day, no questions asked, without enrolling in a program, and free from the stigma associated with food insecurity.
CFTO operates as mutual aid and because of community members who contribute and volunteer by keeping fridges running, clean and organized, and by delivering food to them. Fridges and pantries are cleaned and sanitized daily by a team of community volunteers.
CFTO’s Motto: “Take what you need, leave what you can.” They do not police who is able to access food, how much of it or how often.
Where can I find these fridges? The 7 active fridge locations have been added to our Pick Leader Resource Map, which you can find here.
I want to learn more about their work! Awesome – be sure to check out the Community Fridge’s Instagram to see what they’ve been up to lately. Interested in helping out with your nearby community fridge? Fill out their Volunteer Form.
IF YOU ARE PICK LEADER OR A FRUIT PICK VOLUNTEER INTERESTED IN MAKING A FRUIT DONATION TO A COMMUNITY FRIDGE, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:
- The community fridges are in operation 24-hours a day, 7 days a week so fruit donations can be made any time.
- There might be times when the community fridge has too much food and in that case CFTO encourages volunteers, if they are able to, to redistribute the food to a different location that may have less that day.
- PLEASE NOTE: The community fridges will NOT be listed on the Portal as agencies, but it is an option for the entire pick team to help with the distribution of large fruit picks. You are more than welcome to donate from your own personal share, or Pick Leaders can decide to split the donation between the fridges and a brick-and-mortar Partner Agency.
- Delivering Fruit to the Community Fridges:
- Masks and sanitizer/gloves must be used at all times while delivering food.
- Please do not use the TD tote bags to make deliveries to the community fridges. Please use the Ziploc bags provided in the NFFTT equipment set to pre-portion the fruit. Pick Leaders should encourage the team to take these Ziploc bags full of fruit to a community fridge location on their way home.
- If the fruit is large and compact (e.g., apples, pears, plums), you may add those items to the fridge as usual (without bags).
- When delivering fruit, please try to organize the donation to look as presentable and as much like a grocery store/your own neat fridge as possible (using the shelves and the fridge door).
- Please do not donate “unique” fruits such as crabapples, mulberries, black walnut, gingko, or pawpaws to the community fridges. We worry that without a proper label or consumption guide, these fruits may not get taken, contributing to food waste.
Thank you for helping us welcome our new neighbourhood partnership as we support this mutual aid food security initiative and increase fresh fruit access to communities across the city!
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