The average UK family wastes £470 a year by throwing away food and drink which could have been eaten, and £3 billion is wasted by food sectors. Despite growing awareness of food waste, there are few easy ways for people or businesses to get food near its “sell by” date to others.
In what is known to be the first of its kind in the world, the Community Fridge Network, which was set up by environmental charity Hubbub, aims to redistribute perishable food from local retailers, that would have otherwise been wasted, to local households.
Hubbub have teamed up with Sainsbury’s, Bosch and North London Waste Authority to make the Community Food Network possible.
There are currently 36 community fridges in operation across the UK, and Hubbub expect to have 50 in operation in 2018. There are currently community fridges in Bristol, Aylesbury, Brighton, and various areas in London including Islington, Cricklewood and Tower Hamlets
Each community fridge operates differently, depending on local need and circumstance, however they have set opening times, are monitored by CCTV cameras, and follow strict regulations designed to meet hygiene standards.
The first trial fridges have operated safely and demonstrated a huge need for the support they provide.
Hubbub say: “This level of demand suggests that there are disturbing fault-lines in UK society resulting in people struggling to put food on the table. These need to be remedied by changes in policy, but in the meantime Community Fridges can play an essential role in reducing food waste, helping households and building communities.
“The Community Fridge Network will help ensure that a growing number of successful and sustainable fridges are established.”
To find your local community fridge, check the Community Fridge Network
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea