Echo Park laundromat partners with LA Community Fridges to provide food to those in need

In addition to the community fridge, Barnes started a "laundry love" program before the pandemic, offering to wash 80 pounds of laundry for free!
ECHO PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- There are good things happening inside Aroma Laundry in Echo Park.

James Barnes, a resident of the neighborhood himself, purchased the business six years ago when he noticed how the neighborhood has struggled.

"The homeless population in Echo Park has exploded, also just poverty in general I think has risen due to the pandemic, just a lot of people who don't get fresh food, produce and the things they need for every day life," said Barnes.

That's why Barnes has partnered with Los Angeles Community Fridges, which provides food for people who are food insecure.

His community fridge arrived earlier this week and there's already lots of food inside, including mangos, bagel sandwiches, donuts and plenty of citrus.

Each fridge placed around L.A. is there to provide free food and to make people smile. When Erica Sutton, a customer of Aroma Laundry, saw the fridge with her kids, she didn't hesitate in helping.

"It makes me feel good because it makes me stop thinking about my own situation to help somebody else out," said Sutton.

In addition to the community fridge, Barnes started a "laundry love" program before the pandemic, offering to wash 80 pounds of laundry for free.

"In this life, I think you get one chance and I feel like I've been blessed, so to give back to my community of Echo Park where I have lived for over 20 years is one of the best feelings in the world," added Barnes.

To donate, visit Aroma Laundry & Water in Echo Park.
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