Community Fridge Scheme Saves a Tonne of Food & Expands to Whitehawk

A second Community Fridge has been installed in Brighton and Hove in an initiative designed to fight food waste and food poverty.

The fridge was launched in Brighton Housing Trust’s Whitehawk Inn, Whitehawk Road, Brighton, on Tuesday 19 February, thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s Waste Less Save More  campaign for Brighton & Hove Food Partnership 

WhitehawkCommunityFridgeLaunchIt follows the successful installation last year of the city’s first Community Fridge at Phoenix Community Centre in the town centre. This fridge has seen more than 1,000kg of food donated to it over the past nine months and dozens of people making use of it. Both fridges have been generously donated by Liebherr.

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.

In Brighton and Hove, 17 food banks distribute 358 parcels each week yet 30,000 tonnes of food a year is wasted by businesses and households.

Helen Starr-Keddle, Development Officer with Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, said: “Whitehawk Inn was chosen to be the second location for a Community Fridge because it has a great community network and it is positioned near to surrounding shops and businesses who might have surplus food. It is also one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the city. Ideally, we would like to see Community Fridges in all areas in Brighton and Hove where there is an identified need.

“We are very excited to launch this second Community Fridge in Brighton. Food poverty and food waste are both huge problems and it is fantastic to see a positive solution to both issues. The first Community Fridge is going exceptionally well.”

Donating food: The new Whitehawk Inn Community Fridge is open Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm and Friday 11am to 1pm. It can accept 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.

Collecting food: Anyone can pick up food from the Whitehawk Inn or Phoenix Community Centre fridges for free. They are not policed and their operation is based on trust. People though are asked to be considerate and only take what they need.

Mirco Cordeiro, coordinator of the Community Fridge scheme at Brighton Housing Trust, said: “Whitehawk Inn serves one of the most deprived communities in the country. The contrast with other areas in Brighton and Hove emphasises the need for a dual approach, one which will attempt to reduce food waste – a national problem that also affects our city – while also addressing food poverty. We are developing partnerships to ensure regular donations of surplus food.”

Since opening the Phoenix Community Centre fridge has received a further £800 of funding from Hyde Charitable Trust to help deliver more donations from FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, to it. Supermarket chain Aldi has also joined the growing list of those donating surplus food to the fridge.

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

For further information, contact Helen Starr-Keddle on email at helen@bhfood.org.uk   or call 07850 002596.

People wanting to collect food from Whitehawk Inn should contact Mirco Cordeiro on 01273 682 222 or via email, mirco.cordeiro@bht.org.uk  to be texted when food has been donated.