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'Food is a right ': Uprooted & Rising Indian Territory to host virtual information session on Norman community fridge

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community fridge

The community fridge outside of Resonator Institute on Feb. 1. 

The first public informational meeting for the Norman community fridge on April 14 will give Norman residents a chance to ask questions and learn about opportunities to fill the it.

The community fridge, located in front of Resonator Institute at 325 E. Main St., was established early this spring by Uprooted & Rising Indian Territory, a volunteer organization aiming to provide food for unhoused community members. A community fridge is a place for people to place perishable and nonperishable foods for people to eat for free.

“Food is a right,” said Bridget Burns, an Uprooted & Rising Indian Territory member. “It should be treated that way. … With this, there’s no gatekeeping.”

The idea for the fridge first came up in October 2020, Burns said. She and her local team began looking for a place to host the community fridge. 

“We needed someplace safe. We were concerned that the police would be called on unhoused folk just trying to get food,” Burns said. 

Burns and her team contacted Resonator Institute, a Norman art center. Resonator offered to not only host the fridge, but also to provide the electricity needed to power it, Burns said. Once the location had been selected, Uprooted and Rising began the process of setting up the fridge. By early this spring, it was ready to go. 

Burns said that now the fridge is mostly filled out of pocket by Uprooted & Rising team members. Ideal donations include money, produce, pre-cooked meals and “food you can eat while you walk,” she said.

“We’re always happy to get donations,” said Burns. “We want this to be maintained by the community for the community.”

The community fridge team recently launched Cash App and Venmo accounts for the cause, Burns said. The best way to help, though, is through the meal train website, she said. The meal train website allows for individuals to select specific times they would like to donate or clean the fridge. 

“There are guides for donating in Spanish and English. You can just put your initials. The fridge is outside, so you can (donate) any time of day,” Burns said. “It’s as accessible as possible.”

The informational meeting will be the first of many, Burns said. It will be from 6:30-8 p.m. April 14 via Zoom

“Absolutely everyone is welcome,” Burns said. “We want to build relationships. We want to build community.”

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