Rabia Chowdhry and her six-year-old daughter Haniya drove from Middle Village to East Elmhurst to drop off some food for the community fridge on Junction Blvd. after hearing on NY1 it had been vandalized over the weekend.
They were disappointed to learn a replacement had not yet been delivered.
"It was her idea to come by. We thought the fridge was here so we wanted to drop off some food,” said Ms. Chowdhry of her daughter.
State Senator Jessica Ramos says, since last summer, the fridge outside her district office has been a life line for community members suffering through the pandemic.
At some point Friday evening into Saturday morning, it had been damaged.
The freezer jammed, electrical wires were cut and the door ripped off its hinge.
Six-year-old Haniya Usman said she was sad to hear the news.
“Someone destroyed the fridge and it was not nice," she said.
Just a few hours after word got out about the damage done to the fridge, tens of thousands of dollars were raised to replace it.
"I am happy to say we were able to raise nearly $30,000 from over 700 people who found a few dollars to donate and I am very thankful because it makes a difference here in our district. We have been going through a really hard time,” said Ramos.
Local residents were happy to hear the community came together to help their neighbors in need.
"It doesn't surprise me, I think everybody wants to help right now and whatever little bit we can do makes a difference,” added Rabia Chowdhry.
"I think it is cool to be honest. People need it right now due to the pandemic so I think it is very cool,” said Albert Hernandez.
A replacement fridge is expected to be delivered and set up this week.
The remaining funds will go towards keeping it stocked over the next several weeks.