Le Frigo des Ratons community fridge opens in Rosemont alleyway
"I had so much food I couldn't deal with the quantity... at some point, I had to find another way"
It's an odd sight — a refrigerator stands in a neighbourhood alleyway in Rosemont, built into a nook made from wooden pallets and nestled against the fenceline.
The fridge is packed to the brim with bagels, green peppers, asparagus, oranges, broccoli, even milk — cow's or soy — take your pick.
A paper sign on the front reads: Le Frigo des Ratons, which translates into Fridge of the Raccoons.
The project was created by Rosemont resident Patrick Bodnar, who drew his inspiration from the foodsharing movement in Germany.
The concept is straightforward, people can drop off food and/or take what they need.
It's meant to help reduce food waste and help anyone struggling to find a healthy meal.
Bodnar said he got the idea when he started dumpster diving, and was overwhelmed by how much food was being wasted.
"I had so much food I couldn't deal with the quantity. I gave it to friends, I gave it to others, neighbours. But at some point, I had to find another way," he said at the grand opening of the community refrigerator on Sunday.
In order to work, the community fridge will depend on people's better nature, but it does come with rules.
Before dropping off food, members of the public are asked to take a photo of the item and publish it on the group's Facebook page — Frigo des Ratons de Rosemont — to ensure there's some level of accountability.
The borough's mayor, François Croteau, was at the grand unveiling on Sunday and congratulated the effort.
The fridge is open 24 hours a day and is located in a stretch of alleyway between 4th and 5th avenues, between Rosemont Boulevard and Holt Street.
With files from Radio-Canada