First community fridge welcomed in Brighton

New initiative will fight food waste and food poverty in Brighton and Hove while strengthening community bonds

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A new initiative to fight food waste in Brighton and Hove has been launched with the arrival of the first Community Fridge for the city.

The fridge was placed in Phoenix Community Centre (2 Phoenix Place, Brighton), which is managed by landlords the Hyde Group. It is the first of two Community Fridges for Brighton and Hove, thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s Waste Less Save More campaign for Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. The two fridges have been generously donated by Liebherr.

The second fridge will be located at Whitehawk Inn and is expected to arrive later this summer.

What is a Community Fridge?

A Community Fridge is a tried and tested way of stopping good food ending up in the bin. It is housed in a public, accessible place, making surplus food freely available to anyone who wants it. The surplus food is provided by local businesses or members of the public.

Anyone will be able to pick up food from the Phoenix Centre fridge for free. It will not be policed and its operation will be based on trust.

Helen Starr Keddle, Development Officer with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, said: “A successful Community Fridge deals with so many different issues at the same time. Community Fridges are a fantastic way to deal with surplus food which has a huge impact on the environment, they can help people in food poverty to access free food and they are a chance to bring the community together over a shared resource.

“I’m really excited to be able to launch the first Community Fridge for Brighton at Hyde’s Phoenix Centre and hope it will be the first of many to come.”

Community Fridges have been installed in many other sites across the country, supported by Hubbub, a national charity coordinating the Community Fridge network.

Donating food

The average UK family wastes £470 a year by throwing away food and drink which could have been consumed. More than 60% of the food wasted in the UK (4.1 million tonnes) is avoidable.

The Brighton Community Fridge at Phoenix Centre is able to accept surplus food from Monday to Friday between 9am to noon and from 2:30pm to 5pm, including sealed packaged foods, cheeses, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, table sauces, pastry, unopened milk and yoghurt, unopened fruit juices and salads, and eggs if they are in date.

Unfortunately, it cannot accept home-cooked food or cooked food from unregistered sources, cooked food that doesn’t have a use-by date, cooked rice, pâtés, bean sprouts and food made from unpasteurised milk.

Hyde’s Community Centre Supervisor at the Phoenix Centre, Sean Sheppard said: “We are really excited to be at the forefront of delivering this project in partnership with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and Hubbub. I hope we can really help some of the people who might be struggling for a meal in our local community and make a positive impact on food waste.

“This is a fantastic project and has real potential to grow if more partners and organisations are willing to take part. We’re already looking at involving our own community garden project which grows fresh vegetables, so  it’s exciting to see how this project will evolve.”

Helen added: “We hope that anyone who needs some food for free can pick some up. We ask that people are considerate of the needs of others and only take what they need.”

For further information on the scheme please contact Helen@bhfood.org.uk; telephone 07850 002596.

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