A new free food refrigerator is now open at Rochester  City Hall.

A new free food refrigerator is now open at Rochester City Hall.

Photo provided by the Rochester Police Department

New ‘Freedge’ to help combat hunger in Rochester

Free food refrigerator opens at Rochester City Hall

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published September 23, 2021


ROCHESTER — Community members who are struggling to get enough to eat now have a budget-friendly option to help stock their refrigerators.

The Rochester Police Department has opened its new free food refrigerator, the “Freedge,” next to the garage area at the northwest corner of City Hall.

The Freedge offers food staples such as milk, juice, eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables to those in need in the Rochester community.

“This concept is something that’s gaining (popularity) around the country, to provide a location for cool products to be able to be donated by residents,” said Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm.  

The refrigerator, donated by Bloomingdale Contracting, is protected from the elements via a shelter structure, also donated — and built — by Bloomingdale Contracting.

Community members are encouraged to donate prepackaged, unopened items to the Freedge for those in need to take home.

“Those that need a little extra hand would have the benefit to be able to pick up refrigerated food around the clock — milk, cheese, produce and things of that nature — that would be placed there by concerned citizens and the Police Department,” Schettenhelm said. “The Police Department will be monitoring it to make sure that items there are safe and sealed.”

The project received unanimous approval from the Rochester City Council.

“As we know from Meals on Wheels and all the other work that’s done by all the other food pantries, this is a need we have,” Council member Mark Albrecht said. “I can’t think of a better place to have this than outside the Police Department. It will be very safe there.”

For more information, call the Rochester Police Department at (248) 651-9621.