Weston-super-Mare’s first Community Fridge is now open in the same week the Co-op announces it is replacing Christmas TV ads with support for Community Fridges. 

This exciting platform for sharing surplus food within a community to reduce food waste going to landfills has a home in the Sovereign Shopping centre as you walk in from the High Street the unit is on the right-hand side.

Weston Town Council’s Climate Change Working Group has been looking at initiatives to reduce food waste. This project is possible through the collaborative efforts of WsM Helping People, For All Healthy Living Centre, The Sovereign Centre, and North Somerset Council who are working with Weston-super-Mare Town Council’s Community Resilience team to bring this project to fruition. There is also a list of food suppliers keen to support including FareShare and other local retailers that have surplus supplies of foods that would otherwise be thrown away.

In addition to food waste, an amazing achievement was made by the Community Scrapstore North Somerset. Who has arranged the reuse of items in the old department store kitchen which was heading to landfill. 

With their local knowledge, they were able to link up a community group and make sure the kitchen came in the direction of Weston food club. 

The donor for the kitchen equipment for Weston food clubs has an approximate value of £15,000.

Everyone from the community Scrapstore that took time to identify and find use and then move this equipment, did so on a voluntary basis and did in addition to the huge amount of voluntary work they already do for our charity in Weston. 

It’s fantastic to see this level of collaboration and community volunteer effort in Weston. 

By making this food available to everyone we play our part to stop this waste. 

The food on offer is fresh, free and local. It is hoped that recipe exchange and an information hub will be set up alongside the community fridge. 

Cllr Helen Thornton said ‘The Town Council’s Climate Change Working Group have been looking at the possibility of establishing a Community Fridge in the town since Autumn last year – finding a suitable location was the difficulty. Now thanks to the Sovereign Centre we have a location and our Community Fridge will be open in time for COP26. It is interesting that one of the winners of the Earthshort prize was the Food Waste project which the city of Milan has undertaken. Not only will our Community Fridge play a part in tackling food waste in the town, but also help with food poverty’.

We are pulling together a team of volunteers to assist with the running of the community fridge. If you have some free time, would enjoy meeting new people and want to play a part in the fight against climate change please apply with this link http://bttr.im/zin8t

The fridge is one of a growing number opening up across the UK. The concept first arrived in the UK in 2016 with Community Fridges opening up in Swadlincote, Frome and London. Now over 50 projects are running across the country.