Montreal

Le Frigo des Ratons community fridge opens in Rosemont alleyway

The community fridge is packed to the brim with everything from bagels to green peppers, and of course milk — cow’s or soy — take your pick.

"I had so much food I couldn't deal with the quantity... at some point, I had to find another way"

The concept is straightforward — people can drop off food and/or take what they need. (Radio-Canada)

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 fridge is dubbed Le Frigo des Ratons, which translates into Fridge of the Raccoons. (Radio-Canada)

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.

Rosemont resident Patrick Bodnar got the idea for the community fridge from the success of the foodsharing movement in Germany. (Radio-Canada)

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

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now