Fort Worth

Funky Town Fridge Looks for Compliance Solutions to Keep Program Accessible

Funky Town Fridge opened its first community refrigerator in Fort Worth in September. Now it's trying to stay open and accessible

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The Funky Town Fridge in Fort Worth is a place where there are no judgments and no limits. Users, called "friends," can take what they need, while donors give what they can.

"As someone whose husband lost a job because of the pandemic, we were lucky enough to have a community to support us," Heather McBroom said as she dropped off donations to a Funky Town Fridge on Bryan Street. "I just want to give back the same way people gave to us."

The Funky Town Fridge started in September and the concept is based on access. Organizer Kendra Richardson said last month the city's code compliance reached out telling the group and said the law says refrigerators like theirs cannot be accessible to children.

"We're trying to save this fridge," Richardson said. "We're trying to build community. We're trying to build confidence. It's so many things that come with this fridge."

Richardson said The Funky Fridge has a legal team that was looking at options. She said code compliance suggestions like 24/7 monitoring, indoor access or a lock are not practical for community access.

"We're just trying to get an exemption from the city so we can continue to operate the way we have," Richardson said. "And we won't take the resources away from these people that have been using it that need it so bad."

Richardson said Funky Town Fridge has until mid-January to find a solution.

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