Community fridge initiative set to cut down on food waste

People in Exeter can find out more about a community fridge initiative coming to the city by attending a drop-in event on Saturday (12 March).

The event is taking place at Exeter Central Library, in the Rougemont Room, between 10:30am and 11:30am.

Community fridges are publicly accessible spaces that allow excess food from across the supply chain to be given away for free in order to prevent the food becoming waste. There are over 250 community fridges already operating across the UK. 

The idea has grown quickly in popularity with fourteen similar projects opening up in Devon in the last three years according to Recycle Devon. On average, Community Fridges across the UK are redistributing the equivalent of over 1000 ‘meals’ a month; saving businesses and households thousands of pounds, reducing carbon emissions from food waste and helping build resilient communities.

Libraries Unlimited have set a precedent with Community Fridges already in libraries in Tiverton and Tavistock and now Exeter Library is looking to host a Community Fridge in the heart of the city by working in partnership with Devon County Council’s ‘Food Rescue’ project which is funded by the National Lottery ‘Reaching Communities’ fund.

Most of the food that ends up in Community Fridges comes from businesses and is surplus to requirements – for reasons from cancelled events to the wrong kind of weather – for example, supermarkets sell more salad when the sun is shining!

Community fridges can also take food from households, however; whether that’s home-grown / allotment gluts or when plans change and something isn’t going to get eaten in time.

Emma Croft, Food Rescue Project Manager, said: “Community Fridges tend to be volunteer run so for this project to happen we need to build a strong team to take the idea forward. The different contributions required can range from temperature and stock checks of the fridge (which happen daily by different volunteers) to volunteers that support the collection of surplus food for the fridge. We are also looking for volunteers who would like to get experience or contribute the skills they already have in co-ordinating or promoting a community project.”

To find out more, pop along for a chat and a slice of cake on Saturday.

If you can’t make Saturday but would like to find out more about the fridge project, please get in touch with Emma via foodrescue@recycledevon.org or call 07966 566435.

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