Leo Flemming delivers meals to the Free99Fridge at Best End Brewing.

Free99Fridge is one of many organizations addressing food disparity in Atlanta. By mobilizing a collective of volunteers via the Slack chat room platform, the organization fills fridges placed outside local businesses with fresh fruits, vegetables and ready-to-eat meals. 

Seeing the increasing need of support for Free99Fridge and other organizations and inspired by the creativity of such pop-up chefs as Soupbelly who regularly creates batches of ready to eat meals, Sam Flemming of Punk Foodie and his son Leo decided to create a platform called Flavor Forward that brings together pop up chefs, foodies and high school students to create awareness and address food disparity in the city by directly providing fresh, flavorful and nutritional meals to those in need.

Here’s how it works: foodies donate money for ingredients and packaging, chefs donate their time and expertise for cooking the meals and local high school students donate their time to support chefs in the kitchen and to deliver the meals to community fridges. Punk Foodie, which is the de facto directory of events for the over 700 hundred pop up chefs in the city, provides the networking and organizational support for the ecosystem. 

Flavor Forward held its first campaign last week in cooperation with the pop-up event South East Asian Food Tour at the popular pop-up spot Woodward & Park. Before and during the event, foodies donated over $600, a portion of which funded 57 meals which were delivered to the fridges at Best End Brewing. The 57 meals created by South East Asian chefs @yeegoreng, @jackalopeatl and @crinklesbynina are just the beginning. The remaining and future funds raised will support more fridge filling events to make a serious dent in food insecurity problem. 

Learn more about and donate to Flavor Forward and consider volunteering with Free99Fridge

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.