Cambridge is getting a Community Fridge!

Did you know the world produces enough food to feed 9 billion people? Considering there are only 7 billion people on the planet, it seems strange then that there are still 1 billion going hungry… This effect is seen at a national level too: in the UK, the average household bins £470 worth of food yearly, yet 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Those that need food can’t access it, whilst it goes to waste elsewhere.

Cambridge Sustainable Food is, in a very local way, attempting to address this issue, with the launch of our new Community Fridge in September 2017. Funded by Sainsbury’s, this fridge will help to simultaneously reduce food waste whilst also providing a source of food for those who require it – and who knows, maybe it will strengthen the community spirit on the side as well!

How will it work?

Anyone can put good but unwanted food into the fridge, or take it out to take home and eat. The fridge will be monitored to make sure nothing is kept past its use-by date, and to make sure nothing inappropriate gets put in the fridge. Simply weigh the food and record the exchange, and you’re good to go! Tell all your friends – the more people that use it, the more successful it will be.

The Edge Café

You’ll be able to find the fridge at The Edge Café on Mill Road. The Edge is a community café and social enterprise, both serving award-winning coffees and cakes and supporting those recovering from substance abuse. They also work with FareShare, a charity helping to redistribute surplus food, so are already experienced at reducing food waste.

The Launch

The Launch Event will be from 6-9pm on Monday 25th September, at the Edge Café, immediately after Cambridge Sustainable Food’s AGM. We’d love to see you there – and there will be a free surplus community meal as an added incentive! Booking is necessary for this landmark in local history, but there is no cost – find the event here.

A bit of history

The Community Fridge is not a wholly new idea: the UK’s first community fridge was launched in Frome in 2016, to remarkable success. Since then, a 12-month trial by Sainsbury’s in Swadlincote has further demonstrated the efficacy of sharing surplus food. During the trial, food sharing initiatives such as a Community Fridge and the food-sharing app Olio, showed huge promise with residents sharing the equivalent of over 10,000 food items. Hopefully these achievements can be matched with enthusiasm by the residents of Cambridge.

Sainsbury’s Waste Less Save More Campaign

Cambridge Sustainable Food has been chosen to be a Sainsbury’s ‘Discovery Community’ as part of the supermarket’s Waste Less, Save More campaign to deliver food waste reduction initiatives throughout the city. As one of 29 cities, Cambridge Sustainable Food will be working with businesses, households and local organisations across the city to raise awareness and to reduce the amount of food wasted in Cambridge.

This is only the beginning…

The Community Fridge is only one part of Cambridge’s Waste Less, Save More campaign. Cambridge Sustainable Food (CSF) is also collaborating with Olio (a food-sharing app), staging a ‘Feed the 1000’ event as part of CSF’s annual Pumpkin Festival, and running a Zero Waste Kitchen Challenge to work with local families to reduce domestic food waste. There’s plenty more to discover – find out more.

The Future

We hope the Community Fridge will prove successful and will continue for years to come. Based in a community hub like The Edge, there should be substantial foot traffic – and we’d love you to be a part of it. Please do support us and the Community Fridge movement, and donate or take food from our Fridge, as soon as it’s up and running! The more people that become a part of it, the greater a success it will be – we’d love to see you use this promising new resource.