Community fridge

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A Community Fridge is a refrigerator (colloquially "fridge") located in a public space. It enables food to be shared within a community, anyone can put food in and anyone can take food out. The main aim of Community Fridges is to reduce food waste. They also enable people facing hardship to have easy access to fresh, nutritious food. Community Fridges are normally social spaces that enable people to connect to their communities. Some Community Fridges also have an associated area for non-perishable food.

History[edit]

A community fridge in a church alcove in Botley (UK) with bread box on top and blue box of nonperishables on the chair

The first Community Fridges were set up in Germany[1] in 2012 and Spain.[2]

In the UK, early Community Fridges were set up at Frome,[3] South Derbyshire,[4] Brixton (London),[5] and Botley (Oxford).[6] A national network of Community Fridges was set up in July 2017 by the environmental charity Hubbub UK, which offers a free support service to new projects.[7]

Community Fridges are a rapidly-growing phenomenon, with fridges also recently set up in India[8], New Zealand[9] and Israel. [10]

Issues[edit]

Issues surrounding Community Fridges include ensuring that they are kept clean, ensuring that the food is safe, and making sure that they are not abused (e.g. that nobody profits from the food). For instance, in the UK, setting up a Community Fridge requires a rota of volunteers to clean the fridge and check on the food; public liability insurance; the support of the local authority environmental health officer; and obviously a fridge and associated waste bins.[11] Several community fridges in Germany were threatened with closure because of health concerns.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.foodsharing.de
  2. ^ Kassam, Ashifa (25 June 2015). "The solidarity fridge: Spanish town's cool way to cut food waste" – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Community Fridge Frome - Edventure : Frome".
  4. ^ "Swadlincote's Community Fridge". 24 October 2016.
  5. ^ "A community fridge has opened in London to make sure food isn't going to waste". 16 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Botley community fridge". 30 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Community Fridge Network to bring social value to food waste fight".
  8. ^ "This community fridge in Versova makes sure no one goes hungry - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 23 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Everything you need to know about Auckland's Community Fridge". 23 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Israel's "The Fridge" Facebook page".
  11. ^ "Botley community fridge -". foodforcharities.wordpress.com.
  12. ^ "Berlin's Public Refrigerators Were Just Declared a Health Hazard".