The Old Bath House Community Centre, Wolverton has successfully secured pilot funding for Milton Keynes' first ever Community Fridge, which will be trialled with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK in a growing effort to tackle food waste.
MK Community Fridge will be two fridges and one freezer to be located in the foyer of The Old Bath House Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton and available to access from their launch on Saturday, July 1. The fridge will enable residents and businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted.
“Wolverton is well known for its active, caring and generous community, and we have every confidence that the local community will get behind this project and support this hugely valuable community resource," said Chris Bridgman, chair of trustees, The Old Bath House and Community Centre.
Food waste is a big issue in the UK. The average household throws away £470 worth of food every year and at the same time 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.
The fridge will accept any kind of fruit, vegetables, bread, sandwiches and alike all within their use by date. ‘Home cooked’ food will not be accepted, only food prepared and cooked in a Registered Food Businesses.
Otherwise known as ‘Solidarity’ or ‘Honesty’ Fridges, Community Fridges have been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and other parts of the UK.
In 2016 Hubbub helped South Derbyshire Community Voluntary Service (CVS) set up the Swadlincote Community Fridge, supported by Sainsbury’s plc and Bosch.
During the initial six month trial period it re-distributed 2,290kg worth of food, that would have otherwise been wasted. Food was collected by over 800 individuals who visit the fridge, as well given to 12 community groups.
Community Fridges are now springing up all over the country, as a way of cutting food waste, building stronger bonds within the community and redistributing perishable food to those who need it most.
The centre is calling on all food businesses in Wolverton and Milton Keynes to donate surplus food and find out more about how they can be involved in the project by contacting Helen Innes.