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At the Grocery Shop

Grocery Shopping

Did you know that about 85% of the money we receive in donations is used to stock fridges with groceries? Our volunteers do weekly shops and get reimbursed up to $80 per fridge per shop. 

How this works

What to buy


Become a weekly shopper

Want to make grocery shopping a part of your weekly routine?

Fill out our volunteer survey below and we will get you setup with a weekly assignment.

Grocery Shopping Cart

Interested in one-off grocery shops?

Sign up for a day that works for you below.

Please be sure to follow all instructions or you may not get reimbursed.

How it works


Go to your favorite grocery store and spend up to $80 (you can spend more, but anything over $80 will be treated as a donation).


Bring groceries to one of our fridges (depending on your assignment) and load them into the fridge/pantry.


Take a clear photo of the full receipt. Please make sure it includes the following: 

  • Name of store

  • Itemized list of purchased products

  • Total amount spent

  • Payment method used

Please note, we cannot reimburse any purchases made with EBT cards.


Submit the photo of the receipt for reimbursement on our Open Collective page within one week of shopping. Please note, we can only process reimbursements directly to your bank account.


Send a photo of the food in the fridges to our email - - or Instagram @germantownfridge


What to Buy

The answer is that any and all foods are accepted and appreciated! But if you're unsure, feel free to choose one or more of the shopping ideas below.

Make it personal

Buy all the ingredients to create a favorite dish that you enjoy in your family.

Make it economical

Challenge yourself to see how far you can stretch the $80 budget. What's on sale? What do you have coupons for? Any BOGO's? Which market has the best prices?

Make it seasonal

In winter go for teas, coffees and hot chocolate, or baking supplies, or everything you need to make a delicious soup! In summer, think popsicles, hydrating beverages, maybe even items for a picnic or backyard barbecue!

Go for the basics

Some of the most popular finds at the fridges are items like bread, milk, eggs, butter, cooking oil and proteins.

Make life easy for someone

Find prepared meals, minimal or no-prep meals, food that doesn't need to be reheated, snacks, or pop-top cans like soups. You can even include a can opener for folks who don't have one.

Make it filling

Some of the most high-demand items are proteins like meat, cheese, dairy products, tuna or canned fish, eggs and tofu. *Make sure any raw meat is placed in the freezer*.

Focus on a particular meal

Get items to put together a delicious breakfast or a supremely satisfying lunch.

Think about dietary restrictions

Find items that are vegan, gluten-free, lactose free, nut-free, sugar free, etc.

Quench someone's thirst

We get a lot of requests for beverages, especially for water and juices. This makes a particularly big difference for unsheltered fridge users.

Help out with hygiene items

People always appreciate soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, pads and tampons, diapers (adult, baby and toddler), tissues and toilet paper.

Go for fresh

Plump pomegranate, lacy arugula, pillowy mushrooms, sweet strawberries. Folks always appreciate fresh produce, especially those who don't drive and can't make it to a large supermarket. Frozen fruit and veg is great too!

Design the perfect sandwich

The fridges see a lot of PB&J and we appreciate it. But imagine opening it up to find the makings for a smoked turkey sammie or an Italian hoagie. *chef's kiss*

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