New nonprofit partnership aims to help bolster Bronx community fridges

S_US Community Fridge Int.
Services for the Underserved currently runs a community fridge at 2894 Valentine Avenue and plans to expand under its new partnership with Sharing Excess.
Photo courtesy Services for the Underserved

Thanks to a new partnership, more excess food from retailers, wholesalers and farmers will make its way to community fridges in the Bronx.

Services for the Underserved (S:US) announced last week a partnership with Sharing Excess, a nonprofit that “rescues” extra food and redistributes it throughout communities. The partnership will help keep the current S:US fridge at 2894 Valentine Ave. nicely stocked, using perfectly good food that would have otherwise been destined for the dumpster.

Food waste is a nationwide problem — and ironically, so is food insecurity. According to Sharing Excess, an estimated 900 million meals are wasted each year, and yet 34 million people do not regularly have enough to eat.

Locally, a recent state report found that 39% of Bronx county adults experience food insecurity — the highest among the five boroughs.

“Sharing Excess has an excellent track record in Philadelphia, and we could not be more pleased that they have expanded their critical work into New York City,” said Perry Perlmutter, president and CEO of S:US in a statement announcing the partnership. 

Founded five years ago, Sharing Excess began with then-Drexel University student Evan Ehlers giving away his extra dining hall passes and seeing just how many people in his community were going hungry. The organization has since rescued nearly 32 million pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. 

S:US has served New Yorkers since the late 1970s and has several residential buildings throughout the Bronx, as well as care programs for people with disabilities and those with high medical needs and treatment for substance abuse. About 4,000 Bronxites receive services from S:US.

According to S:US, people with disabilities in the Lydig Day Habilitation Program will help to maintain the Bronx fridges and distribute food in the community. The organization is looking to expand fridge locations beyond the Valentine Avenue site in the year ahead. 

This new partnership between Services for the Underserved and Sharing Excess joins similar efforts at combating food insecurity in the Bronx, such as the Friendly Fridge Foundation, run by Selma Raven and Sara Allen. They started the program in 2020 and told the Bronx Times that they are both heartened and dismayed to be busier now than ever before. 

The program has no funding, Raven said, but still manages to provide healthy produce and prepared meals to Bronxites on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 

“The demand, unfortunately, is really high,” Raven said.

For a map of community fridges throughout the city, see

Reach Emily Swanson at or (646) 717-0015. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes