Resource Use

Community Fridge Network to double number of fridges in six months

The Community Fridge Network is to receive £45,000 of funding from independent charity the Morrisons Foundation. This will go towards plans to expand the current network of 31 community fridges to 58 by November.

Launched in July 2017 and run by environmental charity Hubbub, the Community Fridge Network has gone from strength to strength. Community fridges are open to everyone in the community to access, and are stocked with edible surplus food from local businesses and households.

Community Fridge Network to double number of fridges in six months

Food waste remains an important issue in the UK, with the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) reporting that £13 billion of edible food is thrown away from our homes every year and a further £3 billion of food wasted by the hospitality and food service sector. Current community fridges are redistributing an average 525 kilogrammes a month each, meaning over 30 tonnes of food per month will be diverted from waste by November.

Trewin Restorick, CEO of Hubbub, commented: “Every community should have a community fridge. It’s a wonderfully simple way to stop fresh food from going to waste and it’s fantastic to see organisations like the Morrisons Foundation supporting the Community Fridge Network. With more investment and support from big businesses, we can make sure so much more fresh food is enjoyed and not destroyed.”

David Scott from the Morrisons Foundation said: “We are delighted to support the Community Fridge Network and their efforts to ensure that more edible surplus food is redistributed rather than thrown away.”

The network, which also received £160,000 of National Lottery funding from Big Lottery Fund in December 2017, provides free support for any group setting up or running a community fridge, aiming to make it easier for new projects to become established.

To ensure that the fridges are run properly, members of the Community Fridge Network:

  • Are legally registered and have public liability insurance;
  • Register their fridge as a food business and receive a hygiene rating;
  • Carry out risk assessments and demonstrate that their health and safety procedures have the approval of their local Environmental Health Officer; and
  • Agree to capture and report back on impact every three months, using the simple measurement framework provided by Hubbub.

This news follows several high profile launches to tackle food waste. Hubbub announced last month that it has launched a partnership with Compass Group UK & Ireland and commercial kitchen food waste app Winnow to target ‘plate waste’, while JD Wetherspoon recently teamed up with waste management company Veolia in order to reach its 100 per cent landfill diversion target by the end of 2018.

Last week, however, it was reported that Sainsbury’s has dropped its ‘Waste Less, Save More’ food waste reduction initiative after its trial in the town of Swadlincote produced poor results, with the supermarket giant claiming its ‘customers’ priorities had changed’.

To find out where your nearest local community fridge is, visit Hubbub’s dedicated Community Fridge Network page.

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