Meet Jammella Anderson: yoga teacher, doula and artist in Albany, New York. Jammella is the creator of Free Food Fridge Albany which supplies her community with an option for healthy and accessible food. Jammella recognized that even though it should be a natural right to have access to fresh, healthy foods that nourish our bodies, so many people within her city do not have access. About 10 percent of the US US American population are food-insecure which means there are at least 35 million people that dealing with food insecurity. Many people do not have nearby access to supermarkets and instead rely on corner stores, drug stores and liquor stores which rarely offer fresh produce. Food banks are often not a viable option either because many do not supply healthy food and many people avoid them whether out of embarrassment or racially biased systems
As part of Free Food Fridge Albany, Jammella and volunteers distribute and maintain (currently six) fridges around the city, regularly replenishing them with fresh food like greens, vegetables, fruits and dairy. By partnering with local supermarkets and farms, they are able to have a continual supply of quality food, much of which would have ordinarily been tossed out, even thought it’s perfectly good. One of the best parts about these fridges is that they are beautifully decorated with colorful and delightful cartoon drawings which bring beauty to areas in the community that are in need of love. The results have been quite amazing; people generally take only what they need and the fridges have been empty at the end of most days! Jammella’s amazing project shows us it is possible to tackle food insecurity, food waste and neighborhood blight with some fridges, food and a lot of compassion!