The Newsroom Blog

The Giving Fridge of Invercargill

Open the door and a light turns on in people's hearts

Invercargill woman Claire Louise Gilbert has found a creative way of helping those in need in her community.

Recently, the words from a Latter-day Saint hymn, “Because I have been given much, I too must give,” inspired an idea in Claire.   

“You have been blessed Claire—now give,” was the thought that motivated her to action.

Claire went to a shop in Invercargill and bought a broken-down fridge. She took it home and with the help of her children, painted it with bright colours and positive messages.


The family began stocking the fridge with spare bread and other baked goods that would waste if not consumed.

“If I see bargain items at the store, I buy them for the fridge,” said Claire.

The giving fridge has enjoyed much success. Not only do people take from the surplus, but some give to the fridge as well.

There are many that can’t do a lot, but all the little donations add up to a stocked fridge.

“We have stacks of people going past each day," Claire says. "It surprised me that no one emptied the fridge, but just took what they needed for a meal and left the rest for others to enjoy.”

An old fridge, bright paint, encouraging words and a willing heart was all that was needed to make a big difference.

“Surplus is everywhere—our brothers and sisters in our communities need our help and support.”

Claire encourages others to "find a way to give.”

Watch a short video on service:



Mormons believe that as we serve others, our own burdens can feel lighter.

Browse the Blog

About The Blog: This blog is managed and written by staff of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The information here is reliable and accurate but should not necessarily be viewed as official statements from the Church. The purpose of this blog is to provide journalists, bloggers, and the public with additional context and information regarding public issues involving the Church. For official news releases and statements from the Church, visit

Style Guide Note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.