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Give and Take cover image

Give and Take 2021

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Good Docs
Produced by Justin Levy
Directed by Gareth Smit
Streaming, 11 mins

High School - General Adult
Food Security; Public Health

Date Entered: 05/12/2023

Reviewed by Kathleen H. Flynn, Science Librarian, University at Albany

Among the many issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic is the fact that many Americans face food insecurity. A bittersweet temporary solution came in the form of community fridges and pantries. Give and Take presents the community fridge movement in New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic by highlighting the people relying on this food and those who volunteer to help provide it.

These outdoor fridges, hosted by businesses, are stocked with rescued food from grocery stores, restaurants, food pantries, and distributors. As most of this food would have otherwise gone to waste, the film is a good introduction to the topic of food waste and how rescued food can help alleviate the problem. The film follows a few of the people who stock the fridges and pantries with collected food. These volunteers include a 24-hour car service company, FENIX XL, who began offering food to 100-200 people a day in their community when they noticed the effect the pandemic was having on their employees’ health and well-being. An additional benefit of this service was that they felt it strengthened community relationships, particularly during a time when people need socialization the most.

Although the topic of food security has received some attention in recent years, this film is a timely example of the community fridge movement. At the time of the film’s creation, there were over 90 fridges in New York City alone. If viewed in a college setting, it could be paired with discussion on other food pantries, such as those found on many college campuses. Although the film could have used some more exposition in the form of on-screen text such as location, dates, and names, it is highly recommended for courses in public health, sustainability, or public policy.

Official Selection, Rooftop Film Festival; Little Skips; Official Selection, Newburyport Film Festival; Official Selection, Woodstock Film Festival; Official Selection, Hot Springs Film Festival; Southside Film Festival; Bushwick Film Festival; Official Selection, Twin Cities Film Festival; Official Selection, Montclair Film Festival; Still Voices Film Festival; Sedona Film Festival; Sebastopol Film Festival

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