Today, Ignite Life launched our new ‘Community Fridge’, with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK.
They aim to tackle food waste in the UK through providing fridges to community spaces so that surplus food does not go to waste. As a food bank, our Community Fridge is not only ensuring surplus food does not go to waste, but that people facing food insecurity can access a supply of fresh produce.
The fridge is located in the Ignite Life food bank, on Staple Hill high street (BS15 4FW) and is open Mondays 12:30-4pm, Tuesdays 10am-3pm, and Wednesdays 10am-1pm. Ignite Life is calling for all local food businesses, residents of nearby communities, and allotment holders in the South Gloucestershire and Bristol area to donate any surplus food they have to us during our opening times.
Our food bank, and now, Community Fridge too, are run by a group of 11 volunteers, who all take the time out of their busy schedules to spend their time assisting service users with any food or toiletries they require, and signposting them to other resources they may need.
Food waste, and food poverty are both big issues in the UK.
Over 7 billion good-to-eat meals are wasted every year. Furthermore, over 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty, with people on Universal Credit being 5 times as likely to have experienced food insecurity in the past 6 months. Our new Community Fridge aims to reduce these numbers, and ensure surplus food is redistributed to those struggling with food insecurity in the community.
We currently work in partnership with FareShare South West, which is where the majority of our food bank produce is sourced from. We also work with the Staple Hill Co-Op and collect the donations left in their store to take back to the food bank. Both these organisations help Ignite to develop strong community relationships, and reduce food waste, whilst enabling those struggling with food insecurity to access a source of food which is nutritious and fulfilling.
Community Fridge Network
Our new fridge is one of a growing number opening up across the UK. The concept first arrived in the UK in 2016 with Swadlincote, Frome and London seeing the first few Community Fridges opening up. As of August 2022, there are currently 280 Community Fridges set up across the UK, with plans to reach 500 by the end of 2023. These will all help to reduce the UK’s food waste, and help to feed the growing number of people who are struggling with food insecurity.
To find out more information about accessing our new Community fridge, donating food, or becoming a volunteer at our food bank, have a look at our website or email email@example.com.