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The 'Green Team' of Ipswich hopes to establish neighborhood fridges in other communities

The 'Green Team' of Ipswich hopes to establish neighborhood fridges in other communities

A group of Ipswich students who has been fighting hunger in the last year wants to assist young people in other communities in putting a similar effort in the works.

During the epidemic, the Ipswich Middle/High School Green Team launched a Hello Neighbor Fridge project to increase local access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. Since then, team members have stocked food weekly in mini-refrigerators and on shelves in public places that people in need can pick up for free.

Now the team, which partners with two local nonprofits on the initiative, is offering to supply two surplus mini-refrigerators to other towns and towns who may want to start a similar project. The team also offers advice those communities may need to establish the program.

We are really proud of this initiative and are looking to inspire and engage other organizations that are interested, said Amy Borgman, co-adult mentor of the Green Team, a sustainability program for Ipswich middle and high school students that is an arm of the Ipswich Education Foundation.

We want this to spread because it has been so successful in our community, Ella Niederhelman, an Ipswich High School sophomore and Green Team member, stated. It has provided people the opportunity to obtain food anonymously when they need it.

The Green Team conceived of the plan in the fall of 2020 as a means to assist the community during the epidemic. The nonprofit convened to deliver produce from its Ipswich farm and offered additional foods at no cost, both at no cost.

The initiative began with food distribution stations each with a mini-refrigerator and shelves at town hall and a downtown coffee shop. When town hall closed to the public last December due to COVID-19, that facility was moved to the Ipswich Family YMCA.

When the house reopened last spring, a new town hall station was installed. The team opted to combine its distribution at the town hall venue last summer, a decision that reduced the use of two mini-refrigerators.

The Green Team has provided food for the program, including those harvested from the high school's garden last summer, in addition to Three Sisters and The Open Door.

Borgman stated that the prepared foods are almost entirely void at the end of each week, indicating that the initiative is meeting a demand.

She said it has touched the hearts of Green Team members. It gives them the impression that there is hunger in the community, she said.

The project "aided open the eyes of not just students but also other community members about food insecurity in town," according to Niederhelman.

"Everyone realized that even those who are their neighbors may be afflicted," she said.

Ava Borgman, a daughter of Amy Borgman, said Ispwich High School senior and Green Team member, "We'd just want to see the mini-refrigerators in use in other communities because this project has been so impactful in our community."

Ava Borgman said the ability to to reach out and collaborate with so many in the community to aid the town is part of what inspired her about the initiative. She said the team is excited about a community meal it is planning next May to commemorate the program.

It will be a really fantastic event, and people will be able to hear about our project and have good food, she said.

Liz Green, executive director of The Three Sisters farm, stated that her company sees enormous benefits to the students' efforts.

Our aim is food access, actually attempting to obtain local healthy produce to individuals who otherwise are susceptible to spoiling. We want to see food reaching the community in a variety of creative ways, so the Hello Neighbor Fridge is a great additional toolbox.

Go to. For more information or to contact the Green Team, visit the following page.

John Laidler can be reached at the address of John Laidler.

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