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hubbub 246Community fridges

Some people in the UK struggle to put food on their table, yet billions of pounds worth of food is thrown out each year. The average UK family wastes £810 a year by throwing away food and drink, and £3 billion is wasted by food sectors. Despite growing awareness of food waste, there are few easy ways for people or businesses to get food near its 'sell by' date to others. Perishable foods such as ready meals, fruit and veg, and bread are the foods most commonly wasted, with food banks usually unable to handle items that need to be chilled before being redistributed.

Hubbub is an environmental behaviour change charity that wants to help reduce this waste and help to feed hungry families. In 2016 they launched a Community Fridge in Derbyshire to redistribute good food to the community and set up a free Community Fridge Network in 2017, developing a host of open-source resources to help local communities set up their own Fridges. Since then, more than 50 Community Fridges have popped up across the UK helping thousands connect to their communities, access nutritious food, save money and reduce waste.

Each Community Fridge varies greatly in scope, reach and operation but on average each one distributes 0.7 tonnes of food per month to 220 people. Anybody can attend and obtain food from the Fridge, even those not eligible for food banks. Almost all food is provided by local restaurants and food retailers. Many Fridges have become community spaces and offer other sharing activities too.

Hubbub have created a 'How To Guide' and template materials to take you through the stages for setting up a Community Fridge. They've also created the free Community Fridge Network to connect all of the Community Fridge projects across the UK and IE, so you can exchange advice and support.

If you'd like a copy of the 'How To' guide or more information on joining the network, there are more details here.

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Geoff Knott, 15/05/2019

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