A bright yellow painted fridge has popped up on 7th Street, right before Girard Avenue.

Michelle Nelson, a small business owner, set up the fridge around two weeks ago. The motto says, “take what you need, leave what you don’t.” The Mama-Tee Community Fridge is full of fresh produce and more, all for free.

The fridge is right next to the outdoor dining set-up of cocktail bar and restaurant, Ambassador.

This is not the only fridge to pop up across Philly. According to Whyy, there is also The People’s Fridge in West Philly, the Philadelphia Community Fridge in South Philly and the Germantown Community fridge. They are each independent, but share a similar goal: to cut down on food waste and provide fresh food for free.


According to Whyy, it is part of a mutual aid across the country to help the healing of the pandemic and weeks of protest about racism and police violence. It is completely stocked by volunteers, or anyone who wishes to spare an item. It is cleaned and maintained by volunteers daily.

The organizers say it helps alleviate food insecurity across Philly. Nelson, who is originally from New York City, said she saw one while visiting her hometown and thought it was a cool idea because she saw it being utilized.

“When you are trying to get someone to understand what you’re doing, the main thing is that it might be a little scary at first, but if your intentions are good, people see that,” Nelson said on the receptiveness of the owner of Ambassador. “And this is definitely something good. We have fridges everywhere because food is a right; it’s not a privilege. Nobody should be hungry.”

Nelson said her goal is 20 fridges across the city, but if they can, she wants to do more.


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