City orders closure, but hope prevails and Dallas’ “The People’s Fridge” is now operational again

Dallas, Texas – The widely renowned Oak Cliff bookstore has reinitiated operations of its community fridge, known colloquially as “The People’s Fridge,” after initially being ordered to cease operations by the City of Dallas on the 10th of July.

The City of Dallas told Pan-African Connection’s owner to immediately stop operations

The proprietor of the Pan-African Connection, Ms. Akwete Tyehimba, disclosed that she had been directed to halt all food distribution activities and extricate the cold storage unit from the storefront.

With a history spanning several decades, Tyehimba has been at the helm of the Pan-African Connection bookstore, an establishment comfortably ensconced at the juncture of South Marsalis Avenue and Ann Arbor Avenue.

The locale has garnered recognition for a variety of offerings, including literature, skincare commodities, and authentic African relics, in addition to being hailed for its educational initiatives, community outreach, and food distribution programs. Thus, a recent confrontation with a City of Dallas functionary materialized as an unforeseen occurrence.

While the city’s Code Compliance division has delineated specific criteria and counsel pertaining to the nourishment of the homeless on its online platform, Tyehimba contends that the majority of those benefiting from her service are not destitute, but rather represent the laboring underprivileged class.

“I was hurt because I see the faces of the families that come here to pick up the food,” she said. “It hurts because we’re not, we’re just not serving those that need it.”

According to a memorandum that the City of Dallas sent to NBC DFW, the city expressed apprehensions regarding food preservation in the sweltering summer heat, inquiring whether the practice was in alignment with the certificate of occupancy. The city clarified that neither the property possessor nor the enterprise had been penalized, and that a comprehensive examination of the regulations by Code Compliance would ensue, with subsequent communication of the discoveries to the business.

The City of Dallas promised to provide full report, but the Code Compliance department didn’t find anything

Both the property owner and businesses were given assurances that a documented account of the findings would be issued following collaborative discussions between Code Compliance and the property owner to pinpoint and navigate potential solutions for aligning any findings with standard regulations.

In a statement from the City of Dallas, it has been affirmed that no findings have been promulgated and the refrigerator has been reinstated, abiding by a recalibrated set of governing principles.

Pan-African Connection will not accept prepared food anymore

To fortify the integrity and safety of the alimentary provisions, the pantry has revised its policy to exclude acceptance of prepared food, a category that once encompassed offerings from local dining establishments. The newly instituted mandates also dictate that solely unprocessed produce is eligible for contribution.

The move seeks to ensure the quality and safety of the food offered to those in need. Unopened, nonperishable goods are still accepted.

Akwete Tyehimba posted on social media Saturday that the fridge will be opening again:

“Thank PAC & Social Media Family! The Fridge & Table will start back operating Tomorrow Morning! Here’s a list of items allowed, please no cooked foods or items you wouldn’t feed your family!
Drop offs are allowed 24/7.

This is a take what you need, leave what you don’t situation. We don’t care about your living or legal status. Grab what you need and leave some for your neighbors.”


  • Community Foundation
  • No Cooked Food Accepted
  • Uncut Fruits/Veggies
  • Rice
  • Dry Beans
  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Cereal
  • Oats
  • Pancake Mix
  • Milk
  • Spices & Fi
  • Canned It
  • Bread
  • Raw Shell
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey

For more information about the Pan African Connection, email [email protected].

For more Dallas and North Texas community news, visit this link.

Carlton Doyle

At his current position at the Dallas Metro, Carlton brings his extensive experience and sharp intellect to every story he covers. His writing is crisp and compelling, and his attention to detail is unparalleled. Whether he's delving into hard-hitting investigative pieces or writing about lighter topics, Carlton always brings his A-game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles