Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.50
Liaison Breeana Sylvas
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of California, Merced
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
People’s Fridge

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
The People’s Fridge is an innovative program that addresses two needs simultaneously in Merced County: it reduces food insecurity and food waste. The People’s Fridge is as an easily accessible fridge, placed in the Merced community that is open to the public. At the People’s Fridge, anyone may come and take the produce they need, and anyone is able to leave free surplus produce they wish to donate to the community. There are numerous reasons why the People’s Fridge is innovative. Firstly, the program is innovative because it is a form of mutual aid that aims to help all those in the Merced community, but it is community driven. Secondly, the People’s Fridge provides an innovative method to simultaneously work towards reducing food waste and food security, while also further enhancing the sustainability of UC Merced’s campus and the Merced community; the People’s Fridge is an additional resource of food for UC Merced students that are food insecure. Thirdly, the People’s Fridge provides an innovative outlet for those with a surplus of food to give back to the community, not just with food and funds, but also through volunteering their precious time. Lastly, the People’s Fridge is innovative because there are hardly any community fridges in the nation that are partnered with a university; this partnership with UC Merced seeks to address the lack of community fridges in the literature through the implementation of research study on the effectiveness and efficacy of the fridge. This research study is also innovative because not only does it contribute to the field and food system academically, but it will also aid others in starting up their own community fridges; the People’s Fridge is also innovative in regards to its data collection as most community fridges do not collect any data.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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