Blandford Community Fridge
A simple solution to wasting less and saving more!
On Wednesday 19th May 2021 Blandford’s first ever ‘Community Fridge’ opened, with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK, in a growing effort to tackle food waste.
Work started on the project in September 2020 with online meetings held with volunteers and representatives from Blandford Forum Town Council, the Blandford Group Practice, Blandford Youth & Community Centre and Public Health Dorset. It has been a great example of partnership working with each organisation and individual bringing different skills and enthusiasm for the project. Funding has been forthcoming from the Dorset Council and Blandford Forum Town Council, with a commitment to funding made by the Blandford Georgian Fayre and the Blandford Carnival Committee. Sandisons Ltd (Accountancy firm) generously donated £250 before Christmas 2021, enabling volunteers to purchase treats to give some festive cheer to every visitor helping to reduce food waste.
The fridge, located at Blandford Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre), is open on Wednesday and Friday mornings between 9am and 11am and it is there for anyone to help themselves to quality food from Tesco that would otherwise be wasted. There is no referral process with the fridge – everyone is welcome – the aim is to reduce food waste and empower communities.
Any food that is not taken is then passed to the Leisure Centre and the Youth Centre to distribute, and we are very grateful for their fantastic support. If any organisations, allotment plot holders or residents find they have too many fruit, vegetables or refrigerated foods, please bring them to the fridge and we can redistribute them. We cannot accept ‘Use By’ foods but ‘Best Before’ is fine!
Volunteers complete the Level 2 Food Safety & Hygiene for Catering certificate and a DBS check. Each week, two volunteers collect the food from Tesco on a Tuesday and Thursday evening, via the FareShare scheme. They take the food back and weigh/log it before putting it into the fridge. The following morning two different volunteers open up to greet the public and encourage them to take the food. We hope to extend our offer in 2022, subject to availability from volunteers and local supermarkets. Please follow the Facebook page for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Food waste is a big issue in the UK. The average household throws away £700 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 is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed. Blandford’s fridge is one of a growing number opening up across the UK. The concept first arrived in the UK in 2016 with Community Fridges opening up in Swadlincote, Frome and London. Now over 50 projects are running across the country. More information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations, can be found at www.hubbub.org.uk/communityfridgenetwork