The Concordia anti-capitalist space Le Frigo Vert reopens its doors to the student community
With the start of the new school year, the food collective Le Frigo Vert (LFV) at Concordia’s downtown campus has reopened its doors to students. The collective’s main focus is to offer affordable food, alternative health services and a community space that every Concordia student body can access.
The collective was founded 25 years ago and strives to be anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and anti-oppression, partnering with activist groups across Montreal all while not prioritizing their bottom line.
Sarah Mohammed, a collective member, explained that LFV functions as a non-hierarchical worker-run organization. Instead of having set positions and responsibilities, Mohammed added that LFV members have many different roles within the collective.
During its 25 years of existence, LFV has had to constantly reinvent itself to fit the evolving needs of students.
“It went from a big grocery situation to becoming a not-for-profit, then began offering all kinds of extra products and we realized we were moving away from our mandate because there were more ‘fancy’ things, and we had to really check in with ourselves and really return to the roots,” Mohammed said. “We are always trying to keep in mind the needs of the student community which are changing all the time.”
Hunter Cubitt-Cooke has been a collective member at LFV for almost eight years. Cubitt-Cooke was originally drawn to the collective for its mandate to offer accessible and affordable services to students.
“Everything about our mandate I really like, I can totally be myself completely,” Cubitt-Cooke said. “I get to bring all of myself and different skills into one place.”
Through LFV, Cubitt-Cooke is able to use their professional skills as a herbalist to serve students in need, regardless of their financial capabilities.
“I really align with the values of Frigo and I care about what we do,” they explained. “I wanted to be able to make herbology accessible not only to rich people — which is most herb clients — so for me that’s a way I can do that here.”
Jessie Dzambu has been a collective member at LFV for over a year. Dzambu discovered LFV during the pandemic through the food baskets they offered and decided to join them.
“I just really liked everything that they stand for,” said Dzambu. “I appreciate that they’re anti-capitalist and I really think that there is a lack of public spaces where you can just be except for the library these days. I really like that people can just come here and you don’t have to pay anything, it is a spot for people to just exist.”
Despite the services LFV has to offer, not many Concordia students are aware of its existence.
LFV will be hosting a reopening event on Sept. 22 where food and drinks will be offered from 2-7 p.m.
“We’re trying to create a bit more awareness for newer people,” said Mohammed. “Even though we’ve been around for [nearly] 30 years we still have people coming in saying ‘oh we never knew about you.’ And as it is the beginning of the school year we wanted to just host an event to bring everybody together, make our presence known.”