Activists set up ‘take what you need, leave what you can’ food stands outside city rec centers

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Local activist group LABL is helping people who are food insecure this holiday season. They’ve set up three food stands around the city of Rochester where people can walk up and take what they need.

The wooden stands full of food in front of the Flint Street, North Street, and Edgerton recreation centers are making a huge difference for local families this holiday season. LABL organizers Kai Lipton and Adrienne Rodriguez put them there.

“We’ve been getting really good responses, people said it’s really helped them, it’s changed their lives, Lipton said.

Lipton and Rodriguez started the stand at Flint Street about two months ago. They said black and brown communities have been hit hardest during the pandemic and wanted to help them out.

“It’s really important to me. I grew up food insecure, I grew up housing insecure, I’m still actively food insecure I get food stamps and they’re not enough and I know that for a fact even people around here if they get food stamps it’s not enough for the whole month,” Lipton said.

Organizers restock the food stand every day with donations and people can take what they need or leave what they can. Anyone can walk up and drop off food. Lipton said they plan to apply to become a non-profit but for now it’s based on donations.

If someone needs food but wants to take it anonymously, Lipton said not to worry.

“I don’t like to stay because I know some people don’t like to come when stuff is getting stocked they don’t want to be seen which I can understand because I would do that too.”

They said they’ll continue to restock the stands as long as donations keep coming in.

To look at the group’s wish list and the locations of the stands, you can follow the group’s Facebook page.

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