As the world is grappling with this ongoing health crisis, the Pacific is dealing with the triple threat of this health crisis, the climate crisis, and the impending economic instability post-COVID 19.
How the Pacific builds their resilience in the face of these ongoing challenges has been front and center for a lot of the work since COVID hit the Pacific in March.
One way to build resilience that the Pacific Conference of Churches is leading on is known as the Peace Garden. The Peace Garden, an urban garden in central Suva, was started by the PCC in early 2020. It is was a way to encourage people to use their land resources, bring fresh, healthy food into diets, reduce the reliance on imports, and allow islanders to get in touch with the soil and creation.
After COVID hit tourism reliant Fiji in March, and lots of people lost their employment, Rev James Bhagwan and his team looked at transforming that Peace Garden into a food bank. A space that could try to supply essential vegetables to families and communities in need.
Drawing inspiration from the PCC’s Food Bank and the idea of doing what you can with what you have, the 350 Fiji team in Suva launched their Just Recovery Community Fridge.
The idea behind this fridge was to refrigerate donated excess fruit and vegetables from people who wanted to help and make that accessible to people who needed it. By reimagining food access, redistributing extra food, and refrigerating it in central Suva, this could help communities build resilience for future crises.
Not only did the PCC donate the fridge, but they also gifted 350 Fiji a section of their urban garden for planting and harvesting vegetables. Whatever is harvested from that section is refrigerated in the Just Recovery Community Fridge and made available to the public to take what they need and leave what they don’t.
Apart from this generous donation, many other individuals have come forward with contributions to the fridge – even from as far as Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States.
The Just Recovery Community Fridge is now available at 1 Thurston Street, Suva, Fiji.
If you’d like to donate to our Just Recovery Fridge