In May 2016 Frome Town Council worked with Edventure and a team of volunteers to set up the UK’s first community fridge in a bid to tackle food waste and food poverty. A community larder was later launched in October 2018 to accommodate items that don’t need refrigeration.
Food waste is responsible for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. An estimated 15 million tonnes of food is wasted each year in the UK, enough to fill Wembley Stadium 18 times over. At the same time 4 million people live in food poverty in the UK.
An impact assessment published in May 2019 found that the fridge now shares 90,000 ‘surplus’ items a year, saving 140 tonnes of greenhouse gases, the equivalent to driving 340,000 miles.
The Community Fridge and Larder are located in the Loop de Loop Gallery in the Cheese and Grain car park. They are open from 9am to 7pm every day.
A dedicated team of volunteers collects the food from local shops and food outlets, and records the food in the Fridge’s log-book. The food is then available for anyone to take and make use of.
The success of the fridge, has helped to inspire more than 60 community fridges to open across the country – linked in with Hubbub’s Community Fridge network. It also featured on Jimmy and Jamie Oliver’s Saturday Night Food Feast in 2017 and Country File in February 2019.
In December 2019, the Community Fridge project won the Community award at the international Innovation in Politics Institute’s awards ceremony.
In 2020, a second community fridge and larder opened on Feltham Lane. To find out more, visit the Friends of the Mount, Marston & Keyford Facebook page.
We always need more people to get involved. If you would like to volunteer or find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Nikki at Frome Town Council on 01373 488579.
More details and an open source toolkit can be found at https://edventurefrome.org/enterprises-initiatives/fridge/