Be Part of Poly’s Service Saturdays

service learning saturdays at one love

The Poly community stepped up for their Brooklyn neighbors on Service Saturday at One Love Community Fridge, the Fort Greene-based food rescue organization. Everyone in the Poly community is invited to join them there on November 20 and again on January 8, February 5, March 5, April 9, and May 14.

“We contributed to two fridges, a large one outside of a supermarket on Myrtle Avenue, and a mini one in front of an eco-friendly knickknack shop a few blocks away,” said Kyle Williams ‘23 about the effort. “For the large fridge, we spent most of the time bagging heads of broccoli and bundles of spaghetti. For the mini-fridge, I took care of unpacking rice ramen and placing it on top of the fridge while everyone else reorganized the inside and stocked it with fruit and yogurt.” After the fridges were stocked, the students joined with the Poly teachers and Asmeret Berhe-Lumax, the founder of One Love Community Fridge, for an informal lesson on food insecurity and the advantages of working Community Fridges to respond to that kind of need.

The Poly community is invited to join in for Service Saturdays at One Love Community Fridge on November 20 and again on January 8, February 5, March 5, April 9, and May 14.

Service Saturdays One Love

Elijah Sivin, Poly’s Director of Service Learning, thanked those who participated in this year’s first Service Saturday on October 30. “It was great to be out there with Jayden Forsythe ’25, Nicholas Olive ’22, Julian Schwartz ’24, Elizabeth Torigian-Gini ’23, Kyle Williams ’23, Benicio Q. ’27, Tamara Warren P’27, and Ms. Sarah Ely from the Lower School,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to build the Poly community while we serve the larger Brooklyn community.”

“Our partnership with One Love Community Fridge opened up the opportunity for Poly students to interact with the community with an organization with simple logistics and limited bureaucracy,” Sivin said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to build the Poly community while we serve the larger Brooklyn community. Also, as a regularly scheduled service event with a real educational component, it’s an example of the kind of programming that we want to bring to Poly’s Service Learning program.”

Service Saturdays One Love

Poly parent Tamara Warren P’27 had connected Sivin with One Love Community Fridge. “My friend Asmeret Berhe-Lumax founded One Love Community Fridge,” Warren said. “She began to develop a network of local businesses and restaurants to help restock community fridges in Brooklyn. The volunteer organization addresses both hunger and environmental concerns around food waste by accepting food donations of fresh healthy fruits and vegetables that would often go to waste. I reached out to Sarah Ely and Elijah Sivin to introduce them to Asmeret. Sarah and Elijah invited Asmeret to speak to students on a Zoom session. A conversation around food insecurity turned into action by Poly’s Service Learning Team and students who take time out to volunteer. It’s so great to see the Poly community helping in such a meaningful way.”

Service Saturdays One Love

Berhe-Lumax said, ”It was great to see how engaged all the students were and also hear why they were interested in participating.”

Asked why he had decided to take part in the One Love Community Fridge Project, Williams said, “I previously worked with the project during my time on Mr. Sivin’s Summer Service Learning Team, and enjoyed the work and appreciated their mission. I plan to take part again.” Watch a short video about the Summer Service Learning Team 2021 program.

Williams encourages other Poly students to join him. “It’s only an hour, it’s not very far away if you live in Brooklyn. You’ll be helping dozens of people along with their families.”

“Helping feed people by stocking fridges with fresh, nutritious food is such a positive way to start a weekend day,” Warren said. “It feels good to see the energy around the fridges, which bring out the community members. It’s a small act, but one that collectively goes a long way to impact local neighborhoods and bring people together.”

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! We’d love to see you at future Service Saturdays with One Love Community Fridge! Meet us at 10:00 AM outside 357 Myrtle Avenue on:  November 20, January 8, February 5, March 5, April 9, and May 14.

To learn more about One Love Community Fridge, watch this video from News 12.