These social fridges – known as “Jadłodzielnia” or “food sharing” – have been active since 2017, originating from an idea first put to action by Jan Piontek and his organization Weź Pomóż (“Let’s Help”) in the city of Wrocław. Piontek distributes food to a total of 45 active social fridges at the time of this writing, on Mondays and Fridays, with Weź Pomóż handling tasks like reaching out to restaurants for their overstock and coordinating with food banks.
While Piontek has been actively working to help the needy in this way for three years, the effects of the 2020 pandemic meant that this contribution was even more vital, now, with widespread unemployment increasing and a reported 9.8% of the population reporting the loss of their job.
Better still: these social fridges have taken off in other parts of the country, even without Weź Pomóż’s involvement. Other areas outside of Wrocław have created their own social fridge initiatives, purely based on Piontek’s successful vision. Some even encourage locals to prepare food that can be stored or leave prepackaged foods, with social fridges sharing space with community depots for clothing and other donated items.
With these small acts of generosity, Polish citizens can at least have some of the burdens of this difficult past year eased. Additionally, the way this concept has spread far and wide throughout the nation proves once again that kindness is infectious.