Happy ending after community fridge vandalized in Little Burgundy
Published Friday, June 23, 2017 5:40PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 23, 2017 6:39PM EDT
A community fridge in Little Burgundy is drawing attention--- but not all of it is good.
Fatimah’s Community Fridge was set up to provide home-cooked meals for the needy, but recently it was vandalized.
Thankfully, this story has a happy ending.
Free for users, the fridge is donation based, and food has been flying off the shelves, said homeless outreach advisor Fatimah Burke.
“The food just kept coming in and out, in and out, it's really remarkable how people are helping one another,” she said.
Muslim-based organization Peace Initiatives Canada came up with the idea.
“Growing up in this neighbourhood, I met this lady yesterday, she lives right next to this building and she wasn't aware. She told me she has a son who has Down’s syndrome. She was working a lot and doesn't have time to cook sometimes,” said Taufiq Rahman, who works with the organization.
The only restriction is every dish has to be labelled with ingredients, date and dietary restrictions. Otherwise, they rely on good faith to ensure food safety.
“We made pasta today. It's halal, the meat is halal, so we wrote that,” said Nafissah Rahman, who also works with Peace Initiatives Canada.
Though they are a Muslim organization, Burke said anyone is clearly welcome to take a meal.
“Anyone can eat halal food. They're not going to go 'Poof!' Now I'm a Muslim,” she joked.
The response hasn't been all good, however: the fridge was vandalized this week and is now broken.
On Friday they received the news that another one is on the way, courtesy of a donation from a community member.
“It's just a minor setback. You don't do 10 steps just to be discouraged by one step back,” said Rahman.
Peace Initiatives Canada hopes to install more community fridges across the city, saying so far, despite the vandalism, this one has been a success.
The fridge was specifically set up for Ramadan, which wraps up this weekend. Meant to be a pilot project, they want to keep it all year long.
“It's the perfect time for people because it's the month of sharing. We said to ourselves it's time to mobilize the Muslim community. We tried it out for a week just with the Muslim community and seeing how the broader community would be responsive,” said Rahman. “It was just wonderful.”