College students introduce communal refrigerator, government shuts them down

The county health department shut it down on the grounds that it was an unregulated food facility.
(Image credit: iStock)

Three graduate students at the University of California, Davis decided to get to know their neighbors — and reduce food waste — by instituting a community fridge. They called the project "free.go" and placed the refrigerator in their front yard, inviting fellow students and members of the broader community to share the proverbial cup of sugar.

The fridge was a hit, even launching an associated book exchange."It worked exactly as it was supposed to," said Ernst Bertone, one of the students involved. "People took [the food] and it worked." Or, at least, it did until the county health department shut the whole operation down on the grounds that it was an unregulated (and therefore illegal) food facility.

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