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C.I.A. Buried COVID Lab Leak Theory, Anthony Fauci Lied to Congress, Enemy Soldiers Save Each Other
Revealing News Articles
January 2, 2024

Dear friends,

This week we've summarized key news articles on C.I.A. analysts paid off to bury the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a lab, a study finding that nearly 40 percent of conventional baby food contains pesticides, a retired Environmental Protection Agency scientist who says that the agency fails to protect the public from toxic pesticides, and more.

In our independent media section, don't miss articles on Anthony Fauci's lie to congress about funding risky gain-of-function research and evidence that this research was carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology instead of in the U.S. to escape regulations and cut costs.

Our inspiring stories this week include enemy soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war who saved each other, a program in war-torn Yemen bringing people together to play sports, a man in Iceland becoming famous for finding stolen bicycles and inviting a change in heart in bike thieves, and more. You can also skip to this section now.

Each excerpt is taken verbatim from the news source listed at the link provided. If any link fails, see this page. The most important sentences are highlighted. By educating ourselves and spreading the word, we can work together to create a more free and informed society.

With faith in a transforming world,
Mark Bailey and Amber Yang for PEERS and WantToKnow.info

Special note: Welcome to 2024! We wish you insight, meaning, and creativity as we enter a new year. Our recent newsletters have gathered the best of 2023, from the top inspiring stories of the year to government and corporate corruption revelations of the year. Lastly, a warm and deep heartful THANK YOU to the many caring and generous readers who donated this month. Your support makes our evolution and growth as an organization possible!

Quote of the week: Love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. — Martin Luther King Jr.


CIA accused of hiding records that analysts took ‘monetary incentives’ to bury COVID lab leak finding
December 26, 2023, New York Post
https://nypost.com/2023/12/26/news/cia-accused-of-hiding-payments...

An offshoot of the conservative Heritage Foundation is suing the Central Intelligence Agency, accusing it of withholding records detailing payoffs to analysts to bury findings that a lab leak was the most likely explanation for the COVID-19 pandemic. The think tank’s Oversight Project filed a federal lawsuit against the CIA Dec. 22, alleging the agency did not comply with its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request about analysts who allegedly “received monetary incentives to change their position on the origins of the virus,” according to a copy of the complaint. A senior-level CIA agent told House Republican committee chairmen in September that the agency offered payments to six analysts tasked with determining the origins of SARS-CoV-2 if they said that the virus jumped from animals to humans. The Sept. 12 letter from Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Mike Turner (R-Ohio) to CIA Director William Burns also demanded documentation ... about the payments. “According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” the House panel chairmen wrote. In February, the FBI became the first US intelligence agency to conclude the coronavirus pandemic most likely began with a lab leak.

Note: Former chief White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci will testify before Congress on COVID origins in early 2024. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID and intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our COVID Information Center.


Nearly 40% of conventional baby food contains toxic pesticides, US study finds
November 23, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/nov/23/baby-food-pesticides...

Nearly 40% of conventional baby food products analyzed in a new US study were found to contain toxic pesticides, while none of the organic products sampled in the survey contained the chemicals. The research, conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) non-profit, looked at 73 products and found at least one pesticide in 22 of them. Many products showed more than one pesticide, and the substances present a dangerous health threat. “Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks posed by pesticides in food,” said Sydney Evans, a senior science analyst at EWG. The study looked at products from Beech-Nut, Gerber and Parent’s Choice, though it did not specifically identify which of the companies’ products contained pesticide residue. Among pesticides it detected were acetamiprid, a neonicotinoid insecticide that harms bees and humans, and captan, which is linked to cancer. Fludioxonil, a product commonly used on fruits, vegetables and cereals, was found in five products and is thought to harm fetal development, cause changes in immune system cells and disrupt hormones. Apple-based products were the most likely to contain high levels of pesticide residue, and blueberries, pears and strawberries are also among produce that commonly hold high levels of the chemicals. The best way to avoid pesticides is to buy organic baby food products, which are subjected to much stricter regulations.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Former EPA official says agency fails to protect public from toxic pesticides
December 15, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://amp.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/dec/15/epa-failing-public...

Karen McCormack, a retired Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scientist who spent 40 years with the agency, told Al Jazeera’s investigative show Fault Lines that she believed the EPA was not fulfilling its mission to protect the public from harmful chemicals. “In the last three decades that I have worked at EPA it has been very rare for a toxic pesticide to be taken off the market,” she told Fault Lines. “Just about every, every new pesticide application that is submitted to the agency is approved, no matter how high the risk.” As the Al Jazeera report notes, paraquat is banned in 58 countries but its use is on the rise in the United States. The Guardian’s Paraquat Papers, published in 2022 in collaboration with the New Lede, exposed years of corporate efforts to cover up paraquat’s links to Parkinson’s disease, mislead the public, challenge published scientific literature and influence the EPA. Dr Deborah Cory-Slechta, a prominent researcher, told Al Jazeera: “There is a very strong and compelling body of evidence based on the epidemiology studies and what we know from animal models of Parkinson’s disease” that paraquat causes changes in the brain that lead to Parkinson’s. As revealed by the Guardian, in 2005 Syngenta worked behind the scenes to keep Cory-Slechta from sitting on an EPA advisory panel, deeming her a threat to paraquat. Company officials wanted to make sure the efforts could not be traced back to Syngenta, the documents showed.

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


'Burns me to a crisp': Farmers allege link between popular herbicide paraquat and Parkinson's disease
November 28, 2023, ABC News
https://abcnews.go.com/US/burns-crisp-farmers-allege-link-popular...

It is against the law to use paraquat in China, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and dozens of other countries. Many countries have banned the herbicide due to its extreme toxicity, while others have expressed concerns over the possible risk for Parkinson's disease. Yet the herbicide, manufactured by a Swiss company that is owned by the Chinese state, is still widely used throughout the United States in part because it is a highly effective way to kill weeds. The company, Syngenta, says that paraquat, which it produces under the name Gramoxone, "is safe for its intended and labelled use." Clayton Tucholke, who used Gramoxone for years on his farm in LaBolt, South Dakota, and has since been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, says otherwise. "It should have been pulled, I think, you know, so it didn't happen to somebody else," Tucholke told ABC News. The Tucholkes are among the more than 4,000 Americans who have filed lawsuits as part of a multi-district litigation against Syngenta, which currently manufactures Gramoxone, and Chevron, which distributed it in the U.S. from 1966 until 1986. Although Syngenta and Chevron told ABC News that there is no scientific evidence that supports a causal link between paraquat and Parkinson's disease, the Tucholkes and other plaintiffs allege that such a link exists, arguing that Syngenta and Chevron knew or should have known that the herbicide could "cause severe neurological injuries."

Note: Internal corporate documents reveal how global chemical giant Syngenta secretly influenced scientific research regarding links between its top-selling weedkiller and Parkinson's disease. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and food system corruption from reliable major media sources.


Appeals panel invalidates EPA approval of streptomycin pesticide on citrus groves, citing risks to bees
December 13, 2023, Courthouse News
https://www.courthousenews.com/appeals-panel-invalidates-epa-approval...

A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday rolled back the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of the use of the pesticide streptomycin sulfate on citrus groves to fight citrus disease. The underlying lawsuit was brought by farmworkers and other interest groups, which argued the EPA had greenlit streptomycin sulfate for use on citrus plants without adequately considering potential harms from the chemical. The panel, consisting of U.S. Circuit Judges Ronald Gould and Johnnie Rawlinson ... and Daniel Bress ... partially ruled in favor of the EPA — determining there was substantial evidence for the EPA’s assessment concerning risks which could lead to antibiotic resistance. However, they said, the EPA’s assessment concerning risks to bees and other pollinators was incomplete. In a statement after the ruling, the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups involved in the suit, applauded the Ninth Circuit's decision. The rollback of streptomycin approval "is a significant win for public health, farmworker safety and endangered species," [said attorney] Hannah Connor. Streptomycin sulfate is used as an antibiotic to treat serious illnesses but has also found use as a pesticide. The Center for Biological Diversity claims spraying streptomycin on citrus trees to combat citrus greening disease is “highly ineffective” and argues that its use as a pesticide violates the Endangered Species Act because it causes long-term health effects to endangered animals and plants.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health and government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Who is 'Fat Leonard' and how did he end up as part of the Venezuelan prisoner swap?
December 20, 2023, NPR
https://www.npr.org/2023/12/20/1220816420/who-is-fat-leonard...

The notorious and once portly defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard," who scammed the U.S. Navy out of millions of dollars for more than a decade, is being extradited to the U.S. as part of a prisoner swap deal with Venezuela, the White House announced. Leonard Glenn Francis, now 59, escaped from house arrest in San Diego in September 2022 after cutting off an ankle tracking bracelet shortly before a sentencing trial for his role behind one of the largest corruption scandals in the country's military history that ensnared more than two dozen U.S. Navy officials. But his life on the run was short lived. Francis was captured weeks later by authorities in Venezuela where he has remained in custody until now. In 2015 Francis pleaded guilty to plying more than 30 officials, including more than two dozen naval officers, with a slew of bribes to gain lucrative contracts for his Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd. According to the Department of Justice, officers were lavished with a criminal potpourri of cash, prostitutes, parties and luxury travel and items such as "Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pig." Francis also admitted to overcharging the Pentagon for made up services. In all, the Department of Justice said he bilked the Navy out of $35 million, leading officials to call it "one of the most brazen bribery conspiracies in the U.S. Navy's history." In exchange, officers handed over classified and other sensitive material to Francis' company.

Note: This massive conspiracy at one point redirected an aircraft carrier. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.


Advocates Demand Compensation For U.S. Drone Strike Victims In Somalia
December 18, 2023, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2023/12/18/somalia-drone-strike-civilians...

Two Dozen human rights organizations called on the Pentagon Monday to make amends to a Somali family following an investigation by The Intercept of a 2018 U.S. drone strike that killed a woman and her 4-year-old daughter. The 14 Somali groups and 10 international organizations devoted to the protection of civilians urged Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III to take immediate action. The family is seeking an explanation, an apology, and compensation. Congress appropriates millions of dollars annually for the Defense Department to compensate families of civilians killed or injured in U.S. attacks, but the Pentagon has shown an aversion to confronting its mistakes and rarely makes compensation payments, even in cases as clear cut as this one. A drone pilot and analyst, who served in Somalia the year Luul [Dahir Mohamed] and [her daughter] Mariam were killed and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the attack was no anomaly. “When I went to Africa, it seemed like no one was paying attention. It was like, ‘We can do whatever we want,’” he told The Intercept. When he counted the civilians he knew the U.S. had killed and compared that tally with publicly announced figures, he said, “the numbers just didn’t add up.” Luul’s family was traumatized by the airstrike and has suffered for more than half a decade. Her brothers say their elderly father — who died earlier this month — never recovered from his daughter’s sudden death.

Note: Since 2008, the US has supported at least nine coups in African countries, with a vast network of military bases scattered across the continent. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Military-Intelligence Corruption Information Center.


Big tech and geopolitics are reshaping the internet’s plumbing
December 20, 2023, The Economist
https://www.economist.com/business/2023/12/20/big-tech-and-geopolitics...

Submarine cables used to be seen as the internet’s dull plumbing. Now giants of the data economy, such as Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft, are asserting more control over the flow of data, even as tensions between China and America risk splintering the world’s digital infrastructure. The result is to turn undersea cables into prized economic and strategic assets. Subsea data pipes carry almost 99% of intercontinental internet traffic. By 2010 the rise in data traffic led internet and cloud-computing giants—Amazon, Google, Meta and Microsoft—to start leasing capacity on these lines. The data-cable business is ... being entangled in the tech contest between America and China. Take the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN). The 13,000km data pipeline was announced in 2016, with the backing of Google and Meta. It aimed to link the west coast of America with Hong Kong. By 2020 it had reached the Philippines and Taiwan. But last year America’s government denied approval for the final leg to Hong Kong, worried that this would give Chinese authorities easy access to Americans’ data. Hundreds of kilometres of cable that would link Hong Kong to the network are languishing unused on the ocean floor. China is responding by charting its own course. PEACE, a 21,500km undersea cable linking Kenya to France via Pakistan, was built entirely by Chinese firms as part of China’s “digital silk road”, a scheme to increase its global influence.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.


Key Articles From Independent Media


Fauci’s ‘Perjury of Striking Audacity’: Excerpt From RFK Jr.’s New Book, ‘The Wuhan Cover-Up’
December 18, 2023, The Defender
https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/anthony-fauci-perjury...

During the entirety of the ongoing two-and-a-half-year public health emergency, while he was acting as the president’s top COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Fauci made no effort to genuinely investigate COVID-19’s origins. On May 11, 2021, Senator Rand Paul finally asked: “Dr. Fauci, do you still support NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan?” Dr. Fauci angrily denounced the question: “Senator Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely, and completely incorrect. That the NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.” Dr. Fauci was then under oath, so his blanket denial was a perjury of striking audacity: [The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases'] decade-long funding of gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab had left a public record abundantly and unambiguously documented on PubMed, the official NIH archives of the world’s peer-reviewed published research. The authors of myriad gain-of-function studies openly thank NIAID and NIH for funding their research at the Wuhan lab. The ease of finding these incontrovertible proofs of his deception makes Dr. Fauci’s lie seem reckless. But the savvy NIAID chief evidently calculated that the issue was now so politicized and the media so committed to fortifying official government orthodoxies that truth was irrelevant. The nation’s leading journalistic outlets abetted Dr. Fauci’s public deception by shielding him from difficult questions.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our COVID Information Center.


American scientists misled Pentagon on research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology
December 18, 2023, US Right to Know
https://usrtk.org/covid-19-origins/american-scientists-misled...

American researchers concealed their intention to conduct high-risk coronavirus research in Wuhan under lax safety standards from the Pentagon the year before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know. A 2018 grant proposal called Project DEFUSE, coauthored by the Wuhan Institute of Virology and American scientists, has stoked concern that the pandemic resulted from a lab accident. It proposed engineering high-risk coronaviruses of the same species as SARS and SARS-CoV-2. The proposal involved synthesizing spike proteins with furin cleavage sites — the same feature that supercharged SARS-CoV-2 into the most infectious pandemic pathogen in a century. These experiments were proposed to occur in part in Wuhan with fewer safety precautions than required in the U.S. — apparently to save on costs. American scientists at the center of the “lab leak theory” controversy appear to have concealed this from their desired funder — the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — in order to evade any national security concerns about doing high-level biosecurity work in China. The documents call into question the credibility of these scientists’ assurances that the pandemic could not have sprung out of their collaboration ... with the lab in Wuhan. Conducting coronavirus engineering and testing work in Wuhan entailed greater biosafety risks, the American researchers privately acknowledged.

Note: Anthony Fauci lied to Congress about funding this risky research. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on COVID from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our COVID Information Center.


Key Articles From Years Past


The Age of Autism: 'A pretty big secret'
December 7, 2005, Washington Times/UPI
https://web.archive.org/web/20051213040915/http://www.washingtontimes...

Where are the autistic Amish? In Lancaster County, heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, there should be well over 100 with some form of the disorder. There is evidence of only three. Julia is one of them. She ... is adopted from China. She had most of her vaccines given to her in the United States. [Of the other, one definitely had a vaccine, and the other's vaccine status is unknown.] Thousands of children cared for by Homefirst Health Services in metropolitan Chicago have at least two things in common with thousands of Amish children in rural Lancaster: They have never been vaccinated. And they don't have autism. "We have about 30,000 or 35,000 children that we've taken care of over the years, and I don't think we have a single case of autism in children delivered by us who never received vaccines," said Dr. Mayer Eisenstein, Homefirst's medical director. Eisenstein, in fact, is author of the book "Don't Vaccinate Before You Educate!" Earlier this year Florida pediatrician Dr. Jeff Bradstreet said there is virtually no autism in home-schooling families who decline to vaccinate for religious reasons lending credence to Eisenstein's observations. "It's largely non-existent," said Bradstreet, who treats children with autism from around the country. Thimerosal, which is 49.6 percent ethyl mercury by weight, was phased out of most U.S. childhood immunizations beginning in 1999, but the CDC recommends flu shots for pregnant women and last year began recommending them for children 6 to 23 months old. Most of those shots contain thimerosal.

Note: This article was removed from the Times website, so we provided an Internet Archive link to the original article. You can also find Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 on the UPI website. Watch an excellent video of Emmy award winning reporter Sharyl Attkisson who exposes how the government fired an vaccine expert who found links to autism.


Inspiring Articles


'He's my angel. He gave me life': the breathtaking story of two enemy soldiers saving each other's lives
September 10, 2021, CBC (Canada's Public Broadcasting System)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/he-s-my-angel-he-gave-me-life...

The story of two enemies cuts through the darkness. It begins on a battlefield in the Iran-Iraq war, and ends 20 years later in a waiting room in Vancouver. The Iran-Iraq war began in 1980, and ended eight years later. It was the longest conventional war of the 20th century, claiming at least a million casualties. Najah Aboud was nearly one of them. Najah was severely wounded. He crawled off to a bunker, where he saw corpses from both sides and prepared himself to die. Zahed Haftlang ... was assigned as a medic. After the Iranians recaptured Khorramshahr in May 1982, Zahed was ordered to go into the bunkers and treat wounded countrymen. It was then that he ... spotted Najah near the back. Both men were suspicious of each other. Zahed thought Najah's body might be booby-trapped. Najah thought Zahed might kill him. Then Zahed reached into Najah's breast pocket and pulled out a photograph. It showed Najah, with a beautiful woman, and infant son. It was at that very moment that Zahed decided to save Najah's life, even though it meant risking his own. Najah was taken to a prisoner of war camp, where he'd remain in unspeakable conditions for the next 17 years. While reading magazines in [a Vancouver] waiting room, Zahed noticed the door open as another man entered the room. The two men erupted into shouts, hugs, kisses and tears. Their spectacular reunion happened two decades years after the battle of Khorramshahr and on the other side of the world. "Najah is like my family … he really is my angel, because he gave me life. After he got a new chance at life, he gave me a new chance at life. He is the dearest and most precious thing in the entire world to me."

Note: Don’t miss the powerful 16-min documentary about Zahed and Najah. Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


The sports movement spreading positivity in war-torn Yemen
August 16, 2023, Positive News
https://www.positive.news/society/yemen-best-team-sports-club/

By the time the sun casts its first beams on war-ravaged Yemen, hundreds of men will have taken their positions across the park, and the workout begins. Enthusiastic chants of “Ahsan Fareek”, or “Best Team”, boom across the park as members of this daily, free, open-to-all sports club begin a set of 33 exercises designed to work the whole body. For the next hour, they temporarily put aside the stressors they’ve accumulated from the devastating eight-year civil war that has claimed 377,000 lives, touching their toes, standing on one leg and reaching for the sky. By 6.30am the crowd disperses, and everyone goes about their day, rejuvenated and energized, ready to meet again the following morning. “It is a sports club for everyone, but it’s particularly vital for the elderly, who suffer from illnesses and anxiety and for whom treatment is unaffordable,” says Najy Abu Hatem, co-founder of the initiative. “Being part of Best Team lifts their morale and gives them free exercise classes in a healthy and social setting.” In a country of 33 million people, there are only 59 psychiatrists – one psychiatrist per 500,000 people – and the total number of mental health workers is just 304. Although Best Team can hardly tackle this huge, ongoing mental health crisis, the twin benefits it provides of camaraderie and physical exercise – under the guise of a more socially acceptable men’s sports club – is nonetheless quietly improving people’s mental wellbeing across the capital and beyond.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


Iceland’s ‘bike whisperer’: the vigilante who finds stolen bicycles – and helps thieves change
December 25, 2023, The Guardian (One of the UK's Leading Newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2023/dec/25/bicycle-jesus-vigilante...

It all started in 2019, when Bjartmar Leósson started to see a rise in bike theft in Reykjavík. The bus driver and self-confessed “bike nerd” decided to start tracking them down and returning them to their rightful owners. Four years and, he estimates, hundreds of salvaged bikes later, the 44-year-old has developed a reputation in the Icelandic capital among cyclists and potential bike thieves. Known as the Reykjavík “bike whisperer”, people across his home city turn to him for help to find their missing bicycles, tools and even cars. Often, he says, bike thieves hand over bikes without being asked and some former bike thieves have started to help him. Now when somebody loses their bike it can take as little as 48 hours to track it down on his Facebook page, Hjóladót ofl. tapað fundið eða stolið (Bicycle stuff etc lost, found or stolen), updated every few hours with missing and found items and which has more than 14,500 members. “It’s not only me,” he says. “Many times someone sees a bike hidden in a bush, takes a picture and then someone else comments ‘hey that’s my bike’. So everyone’s looking out.” Now when people’s bikes get stolen, he says, the police direct them to his Facebook page. When there is a finder’s fee he gives it to people living in [a homeless] shelter. He he says he now sees the bike theft problem is often driven by addiction, aided by long rehab waiting lists and closures during the summer.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


20 million Americans still don’t have enough to eat. A grass-roots movement of free fridges aims to help.
June 28, 2021, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/28/hunger...

Darrell Brokenborough opened the bright yellow refrigerator that stood on the sidewalk outside a row home at 308 N. 39th St., smiled and said, “It’s full.” He balanced on his cane so he could take a closer look at the apples, yogurt, greens, pasta, cheese and chicken inside. On the front of the fridge was written: “Free food” and “Take what you need. Leave what you don’t.” Philadelphia now has more than 20 of these refrigerators sitting outside homes and restaurants, offering free food to anyone passing by. Volunteers keep the fridges clean and stocked with food donated from grocery stores, restaurants, local farmers and anyone with extra to share. The concept of the community fridge sometimes called a “freedge” has been around for more than a decade, but it exploded during the pandemic as hunger spiked in the United States and worldwide. There are now about 200 of these community fridges in the United States, up from about 15 before the pandemic. “What we’re learning is when you do something like this, people will support it. People do have goodness and kindness, and they will bring food,” said Michelle Nelson, founder of Mama-Tee.com, which now runs 18 bright yellow fridges in Philadelphia and has been inundated with requests to put more in place throughout the country. Nelson said the effort is part of the movement known as “mutual aid,” where people, even those struggling, want to help one another and have a stake in the project.

Note: Explore more positive stories like this in our comprehensive inspiring news articles archive focused on solutions and bridging divides.


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