Share the Harvest Over the Years

Over the years, the Share the Harvest Program has evolved a lot. What started out as sharing excess produce with a few families who needed it slowly evolved into a weekly market in Clarkston. Fresh Harvest is based in Clarkston, a refugee resettlement town, which has become an integral part of our organization’s identity. Many of our employees came to Clarkston as refugees, and we’ve grown to know and love our neighbors. For many years, the Share the Harvest program held a subsidized market in Clarkston selling the same local organic produce you receive in your baskets at a level that makes it fully accessible to those in the process of resettling their lives.

Share the Harvest Market in Clarkston, Summer 2018

New Partnerships with Share the Harvest

Given the events of 2020, this weekly market has been temporarily closed. In light of that, the spirit of the Share the Harvest program has lived on through a new partnership whose work we’re so excited to highlight. Earlier this year, we began partnering with Free99Fridge, an Atlanta-based grassroots organization committed to fighting for food justice & addressing the needs of their neighbors through mutual aid. Free99Fridge provides high quality produce and non-perishable food at no cost to anyone who wants or needs it via their community fridge network. Their main goals are to eliminate food waste, provide easy access to fresh, healthy food, and encourage people to connect with their community. 

Photo of Free99Fridge founder, LaTisha Springer, sourced from @Free99Fridge on Instagram

This is primarily done through the maintenance of their 6 solidarity fridges around Atlanta. LaTisha Springer, founder of Free99Fridge described the model saying, “Take what you need, leave what you don’t.” Fridges are open to all members of the community, housed or unhoused, all are welcome. There is no gatekeeping or record keeping as to who is allowed to take from the fridges, how much food, or how often – the fridges are for the community and supported by the community. There is a lot of need at each and every fridge. In fact, each one is typically filled and emptied by the community every 1-3 hours. As such, they are maintained through wellness checks three times a day done by volunteers to ensure the fridges are cleaned, sanitized, and organized.

One of the solidarity fridges, photo sourced from @Free99Fridge on Instagram

Ways to get involved

    1. Donate your FH Basket If you’ve ever donated your basket through Fresh Harvest, you already are involved! Each week, Fresh Harvest uses Share the Harvest donated money to purchase extra produce for the community fridges. A volunteer comes to pick up food from our warehouse, separate it into boxes and then a different volunteer delivers a box to each fridge.
    2. Donate produce Directly If you have excess produce that you’re not sure if you’ll be able to use, you can always drop it at any of the solidarity fridges around Atlanta. Here are the locations – you don’t need to let anyone know you’re coming – just show up and fill the fridge! Here’s a list of what’s acceptable to be added to the fridge and pantry shelves.
    3. Donate Prepped Meals Prepped meals are also welcomed and appreciated at the fridges. To donate prepared or home cooked meals, make sure the food is sealed, contains use-by / best-by date, and labeled ingredients.
    4. Send Free99Fridge items from their wishlist The Free99Fridge team is not only focused on food access, but simultaneously attempts to minimize plastic used in prepared meal options. There are many eco-friendly packaging options on the wishlist that are used to prep meal options to go in the fridges.
    5. Apply to be a volunteer If you’re interested in performing wellness checks on the fridges, you can apply here.
    6. Follow them on Instagram to learn more ways to get involved and stay in touch with the amazing work they are doing.