Another Mt. A class is taking the bull by its horns. With so many projects underway at the university this year, it is shaping up to be an interesting time for student-led endeavors. One commerce class, COMM-3271: Arts and Culture Marketing, unveiled a project this week for the benefit of the Mount Allison community. The Empty Fridge Project was unveiled at Gracie’s Cafe on October 10 with a very warm welcome from the MASU and the student population. The project intends to aid and draw more attention to food insecurity through art, marketing, and community care.
On a warm Tuesday afternoon, the class prepared an unveiling ceremony, featuring beautiful original music and artwork by local artist, Shivanya Ra. When the project was unveiled, everyone bore witness to the hard work and beautiful spray paint artistry of the fridge that now sits in the corner of Gracie’s. The project is a literal fridge, which has been patched up and repaired by the class and will be filled over time by donations from fellow students. Alongside the fridge sits a table filled with non-perishables that students can add to or take from. All donations will go to the Mt. A Food Pantry.
The Empty Fridge Project is interactive, and will have a rotating cast of questions and prompts written on its sides as time moves on, to allow passersby to destigmatize the topic of food insecurity. The fabulous artwork, which includes such things as visual representations of sign language, community, and teamwork, is bright and alluring in order to actively advertise to students that it is openly available.
The fridge will remain in Gracie’s until the beginning of next month, when it will be moved to the second floor of the Wallace McCain Student Centre and integrated into the pantry. The pantry is a Student Life initiative that is freely available to students and includes non-perishable food items, personal hygiene products like shampoo and soaps, and many other things. Johnny Vickery, the media coordinator for the project, remarked that many students are not aware of the resources in the food pantry, including many of the members of the class at the start of the project. With the combined efforts of the students in COMM-3271 and Student Life, we can hope that this coming year will be easier for students in need.
The class repurposed and refurbished an old fridge for the project: “We found this fridge on the side of the road, waiting for a garbage truck to come,” Vickery stated. In many ways, the repurposing of the refrigerator shows the goal of the project: to further support the community. To reuse, or re-direct one thing to another. The symbolism is beautiful, and the hard work of the class makes it all the better. After all their hard work, seeing the project come together, and the warm response from the student body at the reception, the class is happy to see where it goes in the future.
It is a treat to see this project come together, especially after the ups and downs of the project. “When we first were pitching the ideas, we all found it to be a little unrealistic,” Vickery explained, detailing how the project came to be. “It is all about making a start, getting an idea, and taking smaller steps.” The Empty Fridge Project marks a momentous occasion for food security on campus, adding to the already incredible efforts of the Student Life team, who are working on adding many new necessities to their pantry, including Black hair care products. For students with extra food and hygiene products laying around, it may be beneficial to look into donating to the Empty Fridge Project or the Mt. A Food Pantry.