Community fridges first cropped up a decade ago in a few isolated spots around the globe as a way to share excess food with those in need, helping hungry people and saving food from the landfill. They spread across the US right after the pandemic started in 2020, when supply chains were crumbling, food prices were rising, and families were struggling to find meals. At the time, the fridges were viewed as a creative response to an urgent need; when the pandemic subsided, it became clear that the fridges were more than a fad. Today, nonprofits and mutual aid groups are overseeing hundreds of fridges that bolster access to food in cities from Miami, Florida, to Anchorage, Alaska. The fridges also embody a straightforward solution to climate change. Each year, tens of billions of pounds of food, more than a third of all produced in the US, get tossed into the trash. With food waste accounting for as much as 10% of global greenhouse emissions, the humble fridge is doing yeoman’s work to combat both hunger and climate change.