The Taghkanic Free Fridge, located at the Town Hall, continues to serve our community and beyond. Our brigade of volunteers clean and restock the fridge and pantry on Mondays and Fridays. Community members drop off donated items. Local farms routinely stock freshly harvested produce. Columbia County Recovery Kitchen and the Mutual Aid Kitchen at the West Taghkanic Diner provide complete prepared meals four days a week. We load up with donated Broad Street Bagel Co. bagels every Tuesday. Even with all this, the refrigerator is usually empty by days end!
The Taghkanic Free Fridge joins similar free fridge programs throughout the Hudson Valley as a means to reduce food insecurity and food waste, building a stronger community. By providing a free access point to food for anyone, we promote equal access to healthy food, no questions asked. Unlike other public health benefits, there’s no eligibility process, no waiting, no sign up, no interacting with others. Families and individuals throughout Columbia County struggle with food insecurity every day. Food insecurity can look different for everyone and cannot be judged by the kind of car you drive, how much food you take, or how often you come by.
Our fridge is funded by the Shared Plate Funding Circle which provides the fridge with $500 monthly for groceries. The Shared Plate Funding Circle was started by Lil’ Deb’s restaurant in Hudson in the early days of the pandemic to help feed and support the community. Gaskins restaurant in Germantown and our own West Taghkanic Diner have joined in this effort. A portion of the cost of each menu item sold is put into the fund, and every month these funds are distributed throughout the surrounding community with the goal of offering no strings attached financial support to those doing “big things to foster local community.”
We are grateful for their continued support, and if you’ve eaten at one of these spots – you have contributed as well! We are currently exploring avenues for additional funding to continue uplifting the community caring goals behind this project. Thanks to the work of many residents and the Critter Crew 4-H Club, we now have planter boxes at the Town Hall full of herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and squash which will supply the fridge as well! Please join us by spreading the word, taking what you need and leaving what you can! Click here for donation guidelines and more information.