A sea foam green refrigerator in Baltimore's Greenmount West neighborhood bears the mural of a goldfinch poised above two seeds and the words "Free food. Comida gratis."
This is the Baltimore Community Fridge, an organization started in fall 2020 by Clara Leverenz, A&S '21, and Abbey Franklin, a 2021 graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, as a simple way to move food and other goods from the hands of those who have a little extra directly to neighbors and community members.
Leverenz, 22, now lives and works in New York City, but volunteers keep the fridge and an adjacent pantry stocked with food such as kale, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes from local farms, and toiletries including toothpaste, menstrual supplies, and at-home COVID-19 test kits.
"For me, food has always been my love language," Leverenz says.
"When the pandemic started in 2020, we began noticing exacerbated food insecurity issues, and I wanted to do something about it." JULIE SCHARPER