Free99Fridge
Volunteer FAQ

Table of Contents

Please take a moment to read over the information in each section.
If you have a question that isn't covered, please reach out to a fridge manager.
We are here to help!
It may be helpful to bookmark this page for reference.

Slack Tips

Slack is our volunteer workspace & if you are in there, please be prepared to work. Here are some helpful tips to get you started. Please note: There is a lot of action on our Slack. You do not have to stay up to speed on all the happenings unless you are on the Wellness Check schedule for that day or are just interested in knowing.

Our slack channel contains a wealth of information - and we want to make sure you're set up for success when you join us! When you are invited or join our channel, you'll be welcomed by one of the incredible members of our welcome team. They'll make sure you fill out our google sheet (http://bit.ly/F99FVolSignup), give you a wealth of resources, and add you to the channels for the fridges/efforts you want to support! We'll also follow up a week or so later to just make sure you're getting in the hang of things - feel free to ask for advice on all things Free99Fridge from this team if and whenever you need it!

Notifications

It's helpful to have your Slack notifications turned on. We post daily Wellness Check reminders, calls for help with food distribution, and other important things in the channels. If you want to limit the number of notifications you receive, you can set your preference to 'direct messages, mentions & keywords' only.

  • On a computer -- At the top of the left menu bar, click on Free99Fridge Atl. On the drop-down menu, select Preference > Notifications. Make sure that the bubble next to 'Direct messages, mentions & keywords' is selected.

  • On Mobile -- In the Slack app, tap on 'You' at the bottom of the main screen. Tap notifications & select 'Direct messages, mentions & keywords'

Threading

Threading your comments under the original topic in Slack keeps the channels neat and tidy. It also cuts down on the number of notifications we all receive from Slack.

  • On a computer -- Hover over the message you’d like to reply to and click on the message bubble icon to start a thread. Type your reply in the thread message compose box and click send or hit enter!

  • On mobile -- Tap on the message you want to respond to & then tap on "Reply in thread" & type your message. Ensure that the little box at the bottom of the screen that says "send to #channel-name" is not selected.

Wellness Check Information

What does a wellness check entail? How long do they take?

It's super straightforward. You want to sanitize, organize, throw away anything that's expired, and make sure everything is in working order. Please open produce (bags of apples/oranges/bananas) & multipack items to encourage our fridge friends to take just what they need. After you do those things, snap a picture of the fridge+pantry+sink & post it in the appropriate fridge channel, so we know how things look over there! They typically take 20-30 minutes, depending on the condition of the fridge when you arrive. If you are feeling unsure, please use this checklist as a guide or ask your fridge manager to shadow you on your first wellness check. We also have a laminated copy of the WC Checklist in each location's supply box.

What time do we do AM/Midday/PM checks?

  • AM checks are done anytime before 10am.

  • PM checks are done anytime between 3pm - 8pm.
    (Note: Please try to bring a buddy with you & communicate with your fridge manager(s) if you cannot your PM wellness check before it gets dark. Safety first, friends!)


What’s a “Food Drop”? When should it be done?

Our fridges are consistently empty throughout the day, so these spots help guarantee meals or grocery items at least once during the day. Each location has various opportunities for food drops, so check out each fridge's sign-up sheet. A food drop can be at least a dozen ready-to-go meals, more if you are able, or a small grocery shop of fridge & pantry staple goods. No wellness check necessary! Anything nutritious and delicious is welcome!


How do I sign up for a shift?

Each fridge has its google calendar to sign up ahead of time to do a wellness check. You can find a link to the sign-up calendar posted at the top of each fridge’s Slack channel. Please keep an eye on your fridge’s Slack channel as managers will post daily reminders about who has signed up for wellness checks, if a particular shift needs coverage, etc.

What’s up with the sink? How can I tell if it needs filling? Do I need to do it?

The blue jug is dirty (used) water, and the clean water is in the white base part of the sink. If the blue jug is ¼ full, the base of the sink is about ¾ full still. You don’t have to refill the sink. Just let us know in the channel about the water level, and we will take care of the rest.


Do I need to bring cleaning supplies?

All locations have volunteer supply boxes stocked with:

  • gloves

  • sanitizing wipes

  • paper towels

  • disinfectant spray

  • 13 gal trash bags

  • sharpie (to date/label things)

If we are out of an item in the supply box, please let us know & we will restock it.


What is the wellness check app? Do I need to install it? How do I use it?

When you do a wellness check, it's super important to follow up on slack to let the team know how the wellness check went and to give a visual update on the fridges. It can be hard to remember everything to report on, so we wanted to offer a resource to make wellness check reports as easy as possible: the /check-in command (sometimes called the wellness check app, the wellness check bot, or the check-in bot)! This is a built-in tool in our slack that pulls up a form to fill out at the end of your wellness check - including a checklist of tasks, a space to alert the team if the fridge needs anything, and space for notes! This handy dandy tool is a resource (not a requirement), and you can use it by simply typing: /check-in into your slack messages & hitting send (the blue arrow). Like magic, a modal will pop up for ya! We've got a how-to video you can access here if you want a refresher: https://tinyurl.com/free99-checkin


Do I need to bring a donation when I do a wellness check?

If you would like to bring a donation with you when you do your wellness check, it is much appreciated, but it is not required!


What is redistributing? Do I need to do this every time?

Our goal is to keep all six fridges well stocked. Sometimes there might be a shout-out in the Slack channel for help redistributing; this means that a volunteer will transport food/pantry items from an overly stocked fridge to a fridge that needs goods. If you’re doing a wellness check and see that your fridge is very overstocked, it is super duper helpful if you can redistribute goods. If you don’t have the time to do so, please mention it in Slack, and hopefully, someone else can take care of it. If you are unsure if one is needed, please feel free to ask in the Slack channel. It’s all a team effort!

Location Specific Tips

Best End @ Tamir+Elijah / Poor Hendrix @ Korryn / Hodgepodge @ Breonna / Refuge @ Sandra


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General Free99Fridge Information

Who are the fridge managers? What do they do?

Best End (Tamir+Elijah) - Daisy McHarg & Amelia Conrad

Hodgepodge Coffee (Breonna) - Jen Butler, Charlotte Newman, & Carolyn Nestle

Poor Hendrix (Korryn) - Amy Herr & Ashli Price

Refuge Coffee Co. (Sandra) - Kelsey Sprang Jones


The managers are your point of contact for each location. They can help by walking you through wellness checks, giving you location-specific tips, and answering any questions you might have. They will also make calls for volunteer help with distributing large donations through the network. Please reach out to them if you have any questions or need help in any way.


Are there any locations that are high-need?

As word continues to spread about our fridge network, the need at each location is increasing.


What items are accepted at the fridge+pantry?

Yes, Please!

  • Fresh fruit

  • Fresh vegetables

  • Frozen Items

  • Bread + pastries

  • Non-perishable items

  • Sealed Grab & Go Meals (Sandwiches, wraps, salads, pasta salads, anything that doesn’t require cooking)

  • Homemade Goods (Must be labeled w/ use-by date/date added to the fridge + ingredients)

  • Fresh eggs (w/ use-by date)

  • Unopened dairy products (w/use-by date)

  • Hygiene products (individually wrapped toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, etc.)

  • Pet Food

  • Cooked meats/lunch meat

  • Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, hand warmers, etc.)

  • Individually wrapped plastic utensils

  • Condiment packs

  • Baby food + diapers + formula


No, Thanks.

  • Raw meat (even if it’s frozen)

  • Alcohol

  • Unlabeled, multi-ingredient items

  • Half-eaten leftovers

  • Unsealed prepared meals

  • Expired items

  • Sharp objects (scissors, knives, needles, etc.)

  • Oral medication

  • Prescription drugs

  • Condoms, pregnancy tests

  • Pet supplies (cat litter, brushes, flea treatment, etc.)

  • Clothing/Toys/Home Decor

  • Anything you wouldn't feed your family


What items are most requested or popular?

Bring anything to any fridge and it will be greatly appreciated by all! Click here for a list of items that we see fly off the shelves at all locations, as well as items that we usually have a lot of and don't need more.


Does F99F compost?

Yes! We have compost buckets in the pantries at Best End/Tamir + Elijah and Hodgepodge/Breonna fridges. Feel free to add compost items to them!


Can I make Period Packs for the pantry? What goes into them?

Yes, please! We often have supplies to make them at our HQ, so please reach out to a Fridge Manager, and we can coordinate a time to meet for pickup. Period packs can be packed into quart-sized Ziploc bags and should contain: 4-5 pads, 4-5 tampons, 4-5 liners, 7 individually wrapped feminine hygiene wipes.


I’d like to help but cannot do wellness checks at this time. What can I do?

Coordinating food distributions, cooking meals & making food drops, contacting local businesses for donations, flyering in neighborhoods, and spreading the word on social media are all great ways for you to be actively involved without doing wellness checks.


I'm interested in doing local outreach, how can I help?

Head to our #community-outreach channel and check out the pinned posts! There you will find out the Local Biz Outreach sheet with the list of places we've already contacted, an email template to get you started, and a list of local businesses who make donations to us already. If you have any questions, please reach out to a fridge manager.

I'm interested in helping with food distribution, how can I get started?
Make sure you are in our #food-distribution channel on Slack. In that channel, you will find a link to our Weekly Distro Signup Sheet where you can sign up to help with several of our weekly donations. Folks also make posts in the channel when they need help distributing things through the network, so it's helpful to have your notifications turned on. We also have a great weekly opportunity called Distropalooza that is hosted at a volunteers' house every Saturday afternoon (see Slack channel for address). Big quantities of donations are collected for this day to have one central hub to distribute produce, meats, and more so you can pick up & help us re-distribute to the network throughout the next week.


Where can I get/purchase containers to cook for the fridges?

A number of volunteers have had luck asking the community for their recycled take-out boxes on Nextdoor or neighborhood Facebook groups. We typically have containers at HQ. You are welcome to coordinate with a Fridge Manager to pick some up. You can also order various-sized containers on Amazon. We've tried many kinds, and like these eco-friendly ones- rectangular bowls, 12oz soup bowls, 2oz souffle cups, 6in clamshells, & compostable sandwich bags.


Where can I get flyers to distribute?

You can find a flyer with our Free99Fridge locations here.


Can I take items from the fridge to make meals for the community/my family/friends/neighbors?

Yes! If there’s anything you want to use to create a dish for the fridges, your own family, friends, etc., please don’t feel weird about taking or using anything. That is what mutual aid is all about. We are helping each other together!


Do I need permission to get started with wellness checks, food distribution, etc.?

Nope - please jump in! We’re ready when you are. 🥰