Another example was installed in Brixton in 2017. Known as the People’s Fridge, it cost £2000 and was paid for by crowd funding. The fridge was inspired by similar ideas in Spain, Germany and India.
According to Hubbub.org.uk there are more than 70 community fridges in the UK and they plan to open more. Their website has a map showing the locations of the ones they know about. The one in Coventry is not listed.
See #CommunityFridge for updates.
Setting up a Community Fridge
Sainsbury’s say they launched one of Britain’s first community fridges in Swadlincote and have since funded 30 Community Fridges to help tackle surplus food waste. See here for more information and here for a video about their fridge in East Dulwich.
Their website says “We know that food brings people together, and that’s exactly what Community Fridges do, by encouraging local businesses and residents to share surplus food items. By funding community fridges we have helped thousands in the UK connect to their communities, access nutritious food, save money and reduce waste.”
The Brixton fridge is not manned but is overseen and checked at least twice a day, and food no longer fit for consumption is binned at the end of the day.
This is necessary because in 2016 food inspectors in Berlin, where there were many Community Fridges, found some of them contained “unhygienic conditions”
Donators of Food
According to Hubbub, retailers redistributing their surplus food into Community Fridges include Riverford Organic, Spar, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Waitrose, The Coop, Nandos, Costa, Marks and Spencers, and other local businesses.
The Brixton fridge is situated near to a street market. It does not accept raw meat, raw fish or opened milk, and only registered food traders can donate produce that is prepared or cooked.
Other residents can only leave food that is still in packaging, or fresh entirely uneaten produce.
A similar Community Fridge in Frome has achieved a 5* food safety rating.