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Morning Briefing: Feeding The Community, One Fridge At A Time

A refrigerator outdoors, in front of clustered palm trees. It is painted blue with a sun and clouds, and the words "LOs Angeles" and "Everybody Eats" painted in black.
The Lincoln Heights community fridge
(Chava Sanchez
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By now, you’ve probably heard of the phenomenon of community fridges – functioning refrigerators placed on sidewalks that provide free food for anyone who needs it. But what you might not know is that some city officials have been working to shut these fridges down, instead of finding a way for them to operate legally.

In Compton, officials cited a community fridge for not having a safety latch, then for having a safety latch. In Highland Park and Long Beach, community fridges were closed after being cited for health and safety violations.

Some activists wonder if the effort against fridges, many of which are set up in primarily Black or Latino communities, has deeper underpinnings.

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"If you look at all the fridges coming up, almost all of them in New York and Los Angeles are run by Black and Latinx folks," said Ernst Oehninger, who co-founded the community fridge network Freedge at UC Davis. "I wonder, how much does white supremacy stop fridges from happening?"

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, August 27

Watch live music — from a virtual distance — performed by Los Lobos, Dawes, Gavin Turek and AK Dan Gwang Chil, explore the Chicano Moratorium at several events, attend the Inside Lands festival from your living room, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this weekend’s best online and IRL events.

LAPD Chief Michel Moore, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villaneueva and other officials held a news conference regarding "significant crime arrests" made by the multi-agency SAFELA Task Force, which was formed to investigate crimes that occurred during protests and demonstrations in May and June. Caroline Champlin speaks with the ACLU and protesters who disagreed with the task force.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

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Community Efforts: Community fridges have become popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they exist in a legal gray area. A round up of L.A.-related Black Breastfeeding Week (virtual) events and resources. City Councilmember David Ryu has introduced a motion to make temporary outdoor dining rules a permanent fixture on the city's streets ... and sidewalks ... and parking spots.

California Kids: LAUSD is going to provide on-campus child care for 3,000 children of employees — and maybe later to student families California public schools can invite small groups of the most at-risk students to return to campuses for in-person instruction.

Party House Problems: The LAPD is investigating the second fatal shooting this month at a party house in the Hollywood Hills.

Coronavirus Updates: Things are (finally) looking up in the local fight against COVID-19 – but the good news isn't a free pass to see friends and family without proper precautions. L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva responds to the Inspector General's criticism that many deputies are not wearing masks. Gov. Newsom announced a new deal to double California's coronavirus testing, with results guaranteed to come in 1-2 days.

Photo Of The Day

A community fridge in Mid-City.

(Chava Sanchez/LAist)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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