Friends Fridge opens for those in need

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Friends Fridge opens for those in need
Katelyn Massey formally opens the solar-powered Friends Fridge on May 19 at Immaculate Conception Church in Marlborough. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Residents needing food and personal care products have a new resource.

On May 19, a Friends Fridge was formally dedicated at Immaculate Conception Church.

The fridge runs on DC power from solar panels, with a battery backup. According to Katelyn Massey, who spearheaded this project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, this is likely the first such community fridge in the state.

Massey, a junior at the Advanced Mathematics and Science Academy (AMSA), said she got the idea for the project from her track coach, City Councilor Mark Vital.

“I was looking for some way to help the community,” she said.

Friends Fridge opens for those in need
Katelyn Massey, center, accepts donations after the formal opening of the Friends Fridge on May 19 at Immaculate Conception Church in Marlborough. The fridge, open to anyone needing food, is Massey’s project for a Girl Scout Gold Award. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

Massey was also inspired by the community fridge sponsored by the Shrewsbury Rotary Club.

Thanks to financial support from the rotary club and the Marlborough Cultural Council, along with Peter Montague from Automatic Specialties Inc., work began on the Friends Fridge in August 2023.

The Marlborough Makers provided the exterior artwork, while Immaculate Conception Church provided the space.

“I’m so incredibly impressed with your project,” said state Sen. Jamie Eldridge, who presented Massey with a citation from the state Senate.

“This will be a really great asset for the community,” said Mayor J. Christian Dumais.
Massey, who also serves as a Girl Scout Ambassador, would also like to thank the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Troop 72409 and the Brigham Family Trust.

Friends Fridge opens for those in need
The solar-powered Marlborough Friends Fridge at Immaculate Conception Church is now open for those who need food or personal care products. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

Donations

The rules of the fridge is to take what you need; leave what you can.

The community will run the Friends Fridge, with no staff members.

People who use the fridge and donors are asked to leave the fridge better than when you found it. If the fridge is messy, please help clean it. Additionally, if something needs to be thrown away, please take and dispose of it properly.

Donations are asked to be labeled with the date, contents and allergy information.

The Friends Fridge always needs fresh produce, like fruits and vegetables; dairy and eggs, like milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs; beverages like water and juice; and frozen goods like pizza and meals.

The pantry also needs canned goods like beans, soup, meat and vegetables; dry staples like cereal, grains, pasta, bread, nuts and dried fruits; cooking essentials like flour, cooking oil, spices and condiments; hygiene products like body care, toothbrushes, toothpaste, menstrual products; and infant and child care products like formula and diapers.

Do not donate raw meat or seafood; expired food; open food items; alcoholic beverages; moldy food; clothing and shoes.

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