Earlier this year in May, 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 and online meetings have been held since then with volunteers and representatives from Blandford Forum Town Council, the Blandford Group Practice, Blandford Youth & Community Centre and Public Health Dorset.
Funding has been forthcoming from the Dorset Council and Blandford Forum Town Council, with a commitment to funding made by the Georgian Fayre, the Carnival Committee and Sandisons Ltd (Accountancy firm).
The fridge, located at Blandford Youth & Community Centre (next to the Leisure Centre), will be open on Wednesday mornings between 9 am and 11 am, at first, for anyone to help themselves to quality food from Tesco that would otherwise be wasted. Everyone is welcome – the aim is to reduce food waste and empower communities.
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, four 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.
The 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.
Some of the challenges faced by Community Fridges to date are around the legal requirements and food hygiene. The world’s first Community Fridge Network has been set up by environmental charity Hubbub to provide free advice and support to Community Fridge organisers and act as a hub to enable communities to share their experiences and learn from each other. To find out more about Blandford Community Fridge, donate or volunteer please visit the Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations and advice for those interested in setting up a community fridge, can be found at www.hubbub.org.uk/communityfridgenetwork.
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