Free Refrigerators Program

Last update:

In the United States, numerous programs provide free refrigerators to individuals facing financial challenges. This blog post explores the top seven programs offering free refrigerators in the U.S., encompassing LIHEAP, programs tailored for low-income families, and seniors, and even opportunities for those seeking free refrigerators on platforms like Craigslist. 

Discover more about these initiatives and find out how you can qualify for a free refrigerator as you read on.

Top Free Refrigerator Programs

People who are facing significant financial challenges, like families with very low incomes, individuals living in poverty, those with limited financial assistance or resources, and often seniors or people with disabilities, are the usual beneficiaries of government programs and grants.

The main goal of these government assistance programs is to offer support by fulfilling basic needs. 

For instance, low-income seniors, retirees, and those dealing with health issues may qualify for assistance to cover the expenses of essential household appliances such as heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, air conditioning units, and even medical equipment.

1. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the United States Government manages the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Getting low-income households’ energy bills under control is the program’s priority.

In addition to helping with energy bills, LIHEAP extends its support to include free refrigerator programs. This involves covering the expenses of acquiring new refrigerators for households facing financial constraints.

There is a minimum income requirement for participation in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). You are not in poverty if your yearly income is less than 150% of the government poverty line. Bear in mind that qualification standards may change from one state to another.

Those who are eligible for LIHEAP can now take advantage of a sweet perk: they can use their financial aid toward the purchase of a new, more energy-efficient refrigerator. Grants of up to $2,000 per year are available to qualifying families. 

This sum is sufficient to pay for the acquisition and installation of a new refrigerator in your home. And here’s a cool perk: you may get an extra $500 if you replace your old fridge with one that meets or exceeds the Energy Star criteria. 

It’s a little extra incentive for making energy-conscious choices. Some states may even offer extra incentives for households opting for energy-efficient refrigerators.

Beyond assisting with new appliances, LIHEAP provides various other services and programs. These include emergency energy assistance, weatherization services, and measures to promote energy conservation. The aim is to help low-income families not only manage their energy costs but also become more energy-efficient overall.

2. LADWP’s Refrigerator Exchange Program

Low-income families have the opportunity to obtain a complimentary refrigerator through the LADWP’s Refrigerator Exchange Program. The provided refrigerator is not only energy-saving but also holds an ENERGY STAR rating. By swapping your eligible older model refrigerator, you get a shiny new one in return. You can select from either a 15 or 18-cubic-foot model, both of which are more efficient and economical than your current outdated appliance.

To be eligible for this program, both the applicant and the refrigerator being exchanged must meet specific criteria:

  • This program is exclusively available to first-time applicants.
  • The applicant should possess a refrigerator within the LADWP service area.
  • Refrigerators must be owned by tenants, property owners, or organizations.
  • The refrigerator should have been in use for a minimum of ten years at the time of application.
  • At the point of exchange, the refrigerator must be in working condition.
  • The refrigerator should have a minimum capacity of 14 cubic feet.
  • The unit must have served as a primary appliance, not merely a storage unit.
  • Ensure a properly grounded outlet is available for plugging in the new refrigerator.

To benefit from this program, simply apply, and you’ll receive a more energy-efficient refrigerator. This not only saves you money on energy bills but also comes at no cost to you.

3. The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

The U.S. Department of Energy manages the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). It’s a great program that helps low-income families save money on utilities, especially those with children, the elderly, or those with disabilities.

The initiative succeeds in its mission by increasing the efficiency with which houses use energy. This includes actions like adding insulation, installing weather stripping, and implementing other measures to save energy. Apart from reducing energy costs, these measures also contribute to enhancing the safety and comfort of homes.

WAP supports low-income households in various ways, and one notable assistance is providing eligible households with free refrigerators. These refrigerators are specifically designed to minimize energy consumption compared to standard ones.

To determine eligibility for the free refrigerator program, WAP conducts an annual energy assessment. To qualify, households need to meet specific income criteria and undergo an energy assessment.

Once approved, the free refrigerator will be delivered and installed in the eligible household income at no charge. The program goes the extra mile by offering ongoing maintenance and repair services for free, ensuring the refrigerator remains efficient and safe for use.

The Weatherization Assistance Program serves as an excellent resource for low-income households to cut energy costs while simultaneously enhancing home safety and comfort. The free refrigerator program is just one of the many benefits this program offers.

If you believe you qualify for the free refrigerator program, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local Weatherization Assistance Program office. They can provide more information and guide you through the application process.

4. The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

The federal government funds the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program so that states, territories, and tribal organizations can aid low-income individuals and families in becoming economically stable.

The CSBG program enables states to provide free appliances and other resources to low-income residents. Typically, states collaborate with local charities, churches, and nonprofits associated with the state’s social services department to provide these free refrigerators.

These organizations work closely with eligible individuals and families to understand their specific needs and then supply free refrigerators accordingly. They may also extend assistance by offering free refrigerator delivery and other support services.

Beyond providing free refrigerators, the CSBG program encompasses additional services such as emergency financial aid, job training and placement, counseling, and educational support.

The program’s goal is to aid individuals and families in becoming economically secure and self-sufficient by linking them with these resources.

Community service organizations and state social services departments are good resources for information on the CSBG program and the application process.

5. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers funds to eligible individuals and families, enabling them to buy food for home cooking. In certain states, SNAP goes a step further by providing a complimentary refrigerator to qualified recipients.

To snag a free refrigerator through SNAP, individuals must fulfill specific criteria, including income guidelines, citizenship/alien status, and residency. They also need an active SNAP case number and participation in a SNAP-approved program. 

To get started, eligible individuals usually sign up with their local social service agency or reach out to their state’s Human Services Agency to make a refrigerator request.

Once the request is approved, the local social service agency collaborates with the recipient to choose a suitable refrigerator. The free refrigerator is then delivered to the recipient’s home. Individuals must have an available space in their homes that can accommodate the refrigerator’s size and weight.

In certain cases, proof of residence ownership may be necessary before the refrigerator delivery can occur. To maintain eligibility for a free refrigerator through SNAP, recipients must consistently meet income guidelines and other program requirements.

SNAP assists eligible individuals and families by providing funds for purchasing food items. Some states extend this support by offering a free refrigerator to qualified recipients who meet specific criteria.

Those interested in obtaining a free refrigerator can start the process by contacting their local social service agency or their state’s Human Services Agency.

6. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

Supplementing the meals of low-income families is one of the goals of the federal government’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Households that qualify for this program will receive free refrigerators from their community food bank.

To qualify for a complimentary refrigerator, households must meet specific criteria:

  • Their annual income should fall below the poverty line.
  • The household size must align with federal guidelines.
  • Proof of residence in the local area is required.

Once approved, households will receive a voucher from the food bank, allowing them to acquire a new refrigerator from an authorized retailer. The delivery of the refrigerator to their home is covered at no extra cost.

Households need to note that certain retailers might ask for an additional deposit, refundable upon the appliance’s return to working condition.

TEFAP goes beyond providing refrigerators; eligible households can enjoy other benefits too. The program offers non-perishable food items like canned and dry goods. Additionally, households may receive other appliances, such as microwaves and stoves, without incurring any additional costs.

For low-income households looking to save money on groceries and acquire essential appliances, TEFAP is an excellent resource. If you meet the criteria, don’t hesitate to contact your local food bank today to check your eligibility for a free refrigerator and other benefits offered by TEFAP.

7. Energy Star

Energy Star offers impartial details on energy efficiency to individuals across various income brackets, thanks to support from the Environmental Protection Agency.

To discover rebates for refrigerators in their region, individuals can explore the website. The site provides details on nearby retailers and the pricing of different refrigerator models.

It’s important to note that the government program doesn’t directly offer a free refrigerator program. However, participants in the program can still benefit from rebates. 

These rebates can help lower the initial cost of a new refrigerator, ultimately shortening the time it takes for the investment to pay off through reduced electricity bills.

8. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants, And Children (WIC)

Women, children under five, and pregnant or nursing women with low incomes can get extra food and help with breastfeeding through the federal government’s WIC program. 

The WIC program may offer participants free refrigerators. Anyone curious about this perk’s availability in their area is urged to contact their neighborhood WIC office.

If you qualify for this program, you will receive free formula, milk, and other nutritious meals including cereal, cheese, eggs, juice, peanut butter, canned beans, and fish. 

Participants have access to a wealth of resources, including social support, medical referrals, and dietary advice.

The USDA oversees the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which is offered in all 50 states and many territories. Income requirements and nutritional risk factors determine who is eligible for WIC services. 

Applicants are also required to provide identity and proof of residency. Furthermore, each state’s WIC program may have its own set of conditions for enrollment.

A WIC card is sent to participants once they are accepted into the program; it can be used at participating grocery stores and pharmacies to purchase nutritionally adequate foods at reduced prices. Those who qualify for the program will receive assistance in purchasing nutritious food and improving their nutrition and health.

9. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP)

Eligible students at public and nonprofit private schools, as well as residential childcare establishments, benefit from the National School Meal Program (NSLP) by receiving a healthy, low-cost, or free meal every school day.

Free refrigerators are available to households that participate in the NSLP, which is a major perk. To obtain this free refrigerator, households must meet income restrictions that vary with family size. 

They must also be registered with the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). If you have questions about whether or whether you qualify for a free refrigerator, contact your local school district or child nutrition office. 

The office staff can guide you through the eligibility process and supply you with the relevant application. You will be sent information on how to claim your free refrigerator once your application has been processed and accepted.

Acquiring a free refrigerator through the NSLP can simplify meal planning for families facing financial challenges. This benefit facilitates the storage of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other perishable items in a home setting. 

Furthermore, many school districts collaborate with retailers to offer extra savings to families who receive a free refrigerator through the NSLP. For families struggling to make ends meet, the NSLP serves as a valuable resource. 

If you believe you might be eligible for a free refrigerator through the NSLP, don’t hesitate to contact your local school district or child nutrition office for more information.


For individuals seeking assistance with free refrigerator programs, numerous options are available.  There’s a free refrigerator program tailored to almost every situation. You should know that these programs are subject to change, so it’s in your best interest to routinely check with your community center or government aid program for changes. 

For the freshest and most reliable information, staying in touch with these sources is vital. Get in touch with the program’s representative if you have any questions or need any help if you’re interested in that program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most trouble-free refrigerator?

Look for the Energy Star label when searching for a new refrigerator, as this indicates that it is an energy-efficient model. You should look for a fridge with features such as a programmable thermostat, the ability to quickly freeze or cool food, and an ice maker that is built right in. Make sure the brand is well-known for its quality and dependability by doing some research.

What is a frost-free refrigerator?

By circulating cool air throughout the interior, frost-free refrigerators prevent the buildup of frost and thus eliminate the need for manual defrosting. This results in less wasted energy and longer-lasting food freshness.

How can I save money on my fridge?

Buying an Energy Star refrigerator and using it effectively is the greatest method to cut down on electricity costs. Clean the condenser coils regularly and set the thermostat to the correct temperature. When the fridge isn’t being used, turn it off manually or use a timer.

How can I save money on my fridge freezer?

All refrigerators and freezers can benefit from the same energy-saving measures. Pick one with the Energy Star label and turn down the heat. Maintaining a clean condenser coil is essential, as is utilizing a timer to turn off the refrigerator when it’s not in use.

Do fridges waste a lot of electricity?

Refrigerators may be used efficiently without wasting electricity. Choose a model that has earned the Energy Star label and put it to good use. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly and the condenser coils are cleaned regularly. It’s also a good idea to set a timer to turn off the refrigerator when it’s not being used.

Photo of author
Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

Leave a Comment