Community fridge sees local people drop off fruit and veg for others

Community fridge sees local people drop off fruit and veg for others

A fridge for the whole community! How volunteers are eating away at Britain’s £13BILLION food waste scandal by sharing unwanted fruit and veg with low income familiesResidents and businesses invited to drop off any unwanted fruit and vegetables Community fridge aims to help locals on low incomes and requiring fresh food50 projects now around Britain as…


A fridge for the whole community! How volunteers are eating away at Britain’s £13BILLION food waste scandal by sharing unwanted fruit and veg with low income families

  • Residents and businesses invited to drop off any unwanted fruit and vegetables 
  • Community fridge aims to help locals on low incomes and requiring fresh food
  • 50 projects now around Britain as UK fights battle against food and drink waste
  • New fridge opens at The Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead, North West London

With the average UK family throwing away £810 a year in food and drink, there is a serious need to cut down on waste in our homes.

So a new scheme inviting residents and businesses drop off any unwanted fruit and vegetables to a community fridge has been launched to help local people in need.

Some 50 of the fridges have opened around Britain since 2016, with the latest one launched on Tuesday at The Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead, North West London. 

Local council officials, councillors and residents gather for the opening of the community fridge on Tuesday at The Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead, North West London

Local council officials, councillors and residents gather for the opening of the community fridge on Tuesday at The Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead, North West London

The community fridge

The project was the brainchild of Tamara Jacobs

The new community fridge (left) was the brainchild of local student Tamara Jacobs (right)

Unwanted food can be dropped off at the community centre and then shared with local residents who might be on low incomes and requiring fresh food.  

It was the idea of local student Tamara Jacobs, 19, who said: ‘I have always been concerned about the wasting of food, because I believe it is a matter of injustice. 

‘I read about the community fridge in Brixton and fell in love with the concept of anyone being able to donate their leftover food that would otherwise go to waste and anyone being able to take it, eliminating the taboo of being a ‘claimant’. 

‘I knew that we needed this installed because I have seen how much food is sadly wasted in my own household and others, with nowhere previously to donate it. 

‘No one should not be able to have three meals a day while others casually throw out food, so we must all take action to fairly distribute our food resources.’

The Sherriff Centre is a community centre featuring a Post Office, café and children's soft play

The Sherriff Centre is a community centre featuring a Post Office, café and children’s soft play

It comes amid mounting concerns over food waste, with UK households discarding more than £13billion worth of food a year – or 7.3million tonnes of waste.

Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, has supported the project and tweeted this week that it was ‘brilliant work’ to get it opened.

Camden councillor Angela Mason said: ‘Thanks to Tamara Jacobs, a student and local resident who came up with this great idea, anyone on a low income who would like to pick up some fresh food can drop by the centre anytime during the day.

‘Not only will this fridge help our community to eat more healthily, it will also help to reduce food waste – another issue we take very seriously – by encouraging residents to drop off any unwanted fruit and vegetables they have at home.’  

The first community fridge was launched by environmental charity Hubbub in Derbyshire in 2016, with more than 50 now in action across Britain. 

The community hub is inside the Victorian St James Church, where Sunday services are held

The community hub is inside the Victorian St James Church, where Sunday services are held

The Sherriff Centre is a community hub featuring a Post Office, café and children’s soft play inside the Victorian St James Church, where Sunday services are still held.

The launch comes two months after a ‘social supermarket’ opened offering a week’s worth of shopping for just £3 to Britons struggling to feed their families.

The food, worth between £15 and £35 as a basket of goods, is donated to The Community Pantry by major retailers including Marks & Spencer and Morrisons.

The supermarket in Crewe, Cheshire, helps those struggling financially to put food on their tables and is serving so many people that it has had to open an extra day.

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Community fridge sees local people drop off fruit and veg for others

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