The first community fridge will open in Brighton and Hove allowing residents to leave their leftover food for hungry people to collect.
The fridge is part of a £45,000 grant from Sainsbury’s as part of their national Waste less, Save more campaign aimed at reducing food waste in the city.
Not-for-profit organisation Brighton and Hove Food Partnership will run the project with the council which includes a range of initiatives to reduce food waste.
The Food Partnership will employ Waste Less Save More champions to work with people across the city including reaching universities students in the city.
Three schools in the city will be chosen to be part of the pilot project which is part of a million-pound campaign run by the national supermarket chain.
Sainsbury’s kicked off their campaign working with the town of Swadlincote in Derbyshire last year, aiming to get everyone engaged in cutting back on food and packaging waste. The project was featured in a range of adverts broadcast on TV.
Now they have pledged to take the project to 140 Discovery Communities to find ways of reducing food waste, so that shopping bills can come down. The Food Partnership, who already manage a range of projects combating food waste will work with staff at the three main Sainsbury’s stores to share messages.
Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Director Vic Borrill said: “This is fantastic news. Too much food goes to waste which could be stopped or shared with those who are in need. This grant will enable us to work with people to cut back on food waste, save money and help the environment.”
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said: “In Brighton & Hove, over a third of what we throw away is food, most of which could have been eaten, so any initiatives to encourage residents to cut down on food waste are welcomed.
“We congratulate members of the Food Partnership on their successful funding bid and we look forward to working with them in their campaign to reduce food waste across the city.”
Paul Crewe, Project Lead for Waste less, Save more, at Sainsbury’s, said: “We’ve learnt a huge amount as a result of our 12-month pilot and we are really excited to be rolling out the next phase of Waste less, Save more across our 147 Discovery Communities. We’ve learnt a lot over the last 12 months about how we can help households waste less food and save money, but we’re now casting our net wider to see the innovative ways communities up and down the country tackle food waste.”
The Food Partnership has a long history of working to tackle food waste in the city, raising awareness around the issue at the Feeding the 5000 event on The Level in 2015.
They coordinate the city-wide Love Food Hate Waste campaign, engaging with communities via workshops and events. They support community groups to distribute surplus food and coordinate the successful community composting scheme which operates at 30 sites across the city. They also work with large caterers and food-serving businesses across the city to help them reduce, redistribute and dispose of their food waste. In 2016 they were invited to give evidence at the House of Commons Select Committee on Food Waste in 2016.