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High demand for Community Fridge

Wednesday 21 December

High demand for Community Fridge

The Community Fridge, which has been offering free food in central Auckland, needs additional support from the community if it is to continue.

The fridge, created by Zero Waste blogger Amanda Chapman, was a social experiment to see whether people would donate their excess food if there was a place to do so, and whether people in need would take free food from a public fridge.

Over 1,000 items of food passed through the fridge in the first week alone.

"The amount of support the fridge received was overwhelming,” said Chapman, who hails the experiment a success.

“Everyone was keen to get behind something to help out others in need. The fridge also engaged individuals and businesses to become aware of how much surplus food they had.

“Food turnover in the Community Fridge was high - food spent no more than a few hours in the fridge and some items were taken within minutes of being donated. While it was great to see the food being eaten, we need more help to ensure there is always something in the fridge.”

Despite receiving support from many individuals and businesses – including Scarecrow, Pukeko Bakery and Massimo Albany – the demand for food was often hard to meet.

Pukeko Bakery in Browns Bay was an avid supporter of the fridge from day one, however their location on the North Shore meant there was a chain of people who were involved in the transportation of their leftover food from Browns Bay to the fridge located in Central Auckland, which is not sustainable in the long term.

The fridge will be closed over the Christmas period from 7pm on Friday 23 December as many of the businesses who donate are closed over the Christmas break.

"From a practicality perspective we have to shut down over the Christmas period and give our team of volunteers a break but I hope that with enough community support it will be back up and running in the New Year,” said Chapman.

In order for it to continue in the long term it needs a strong army of volunteers who can monitor and clean the fridge, as well as deliver food from local businesses to the fridge.

“While we need additional help maintaining the central Auckland fridge, we are thrilled that this fridge has inspired many other groups from around Auckland and New Zealand to consider setting up their own,” said Chapman.

A fridge has already been set up by Love Soup in Whangaparaoa.

Food waste is a major issue in New Zealand, with over $872 million of edible food going to waste each year. At the same time, thousands of Kiwis are struggling to get enough food to eat. This fridge has helped bridge the gap by reducing food waste and distributing excess food to people in need.

How you can help:

If you are keen to be involved with the upkeep of the current Community Fridge in Griffith Gardens, please email lucy.pierpoint@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

If you are interested in setting up a Community Fridge in your area, please email info@lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz

For more information visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz

Ends.


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