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Bring Food, Take Food: LA’s Community Fridges in Need of Donations Due to Inflation

Community refrigerators filled with free, fresh food and produce helped many Los Angeles families facing food insecurity get through the pandemic.

But now, the fridges on the sidewalk serve a new purpose as inflation sends grocery prices soaring. The sky-high food prices are bringing a wave of people to the cupboards for the first time.

The grassroots groups that keep the outside fridges plugged in, running and clean have been asking for more volunteers and donations.

One of the websites that helps people find the fridges lists its Eagle Rock and Glassell Park sites as “nearly empty.” NBC4 confirmed one cupboard contained only a jar of peanut butter, a can of beans and some cereal.

“With the economy being so bad, every little bit helps,” said one woman, who did not want to be identified by name. She took a few fresh vegetables and returned to her pickup truck. “I don’t like to take too much — just what I need.”

Some donors said that “it’s not just the homeless that turn out now” since the biggest groups show up late in the afternoon, usually after work.

Almost all grocery items have gone up in price. The cost of eggs is 38% more than last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of chicken is up 17%, and milk is up 15.6%.

Although some economists said we might have hit the ceiling on inflation overall, it will take some time before we start feeling that at the supermarket.

Until then, families are turning to street corner options for help. And donors are being asked to keep those fridges full.

Read More:Bring Food, Take Food: LA’s Community Fridges in Need of Donations Due to Inflation