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NYC

Feature

July 8, 2020
This Coffee Shop in Bed-Stuy Set Up Three Community Fridges
Playground Coffee Shop is fighting nutrition insecurity in Bed-Stuy and Sunset Park with fridges full of free produce.

If you’ve ever lived in Bed-Stuy, it’s possible you’ve also spent time (partially) living at Playground Coffee Shop - a cafe with comfy couches and free programming like open mics, a radio show, yoga classes, and readings.

Playground’s latest contribution to its community is three fridges around Brooklyn stocked with free produce available to anyone who needs it. The project aims to fight nutrition insecurity and support the local Bed-Stuy and Sunset Park communities.

These (beautifully decorated) fridges live right on the street and each one is stocked exclusively by donations. If you live near Bed-Stuy or Sunset Park, know that Playground is accepting eggs, fresh fruit, or vegetables to keep the three fridges stocked. You can drop off any fresh produce directly into the fridges.

You’ll find one fridge outside of Playground’s shop at 1114 Bedford Avenue, another in front of the clothing store Sincerely Tommy on Tompkins Avenue in Bed-Stuy, and the third at Yafa Cafe on 4th Avenue in Sunset Park. Playground’s staff encourages community members to take as much as they need while keeping in mind that others may need more.

Playground’s community fridge initiative isn’t the first of its kind. There’s Barrio Fridge, for example - which is a female-run community fridge based in East Harlem. Another is The Friendly Fridge, which runs a network of community fridges in Brooklyn, Harlem, and The Bronx. But Playground’s project appears to be one of the only fridges that is serviced specifically by a NYC restaurant, bar, or cafe.

Stay updated with Playground’s community fridges (as well as their youth development and radio projects) via their Instagram page here. If you don’t live near their three fridges and want to help Playground fight nutrition insecurity, you can also send them cash on Venmo at @playgroundyouth (the name will come up as Zenat Begum, Playground’s founder and owner).

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