2 - 4pm
Sustainable Merton has opened Merton’s Community Fridge, located at Morden Baptist Church, to support people impacted by COVID-19 who may need help with getting fresh healthy food.
Do you need help with food?
If you would like to receive a free food parcel for yourself or someone else and want to help Sustainable Merton reduce food waste, please come to the car park at the back of Morden Baptist Church SM4 5BL (entrance on Grasmere Avenue) on Thursday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm when food parcels will be handed out by your local Fridge Friends.
Merton's Community Fridge is here to help!
To request help with getting food from the Fridge, please complete our short form* (link below) and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
For more information about Merton's Community Fridge, please contact us at:
* Personal information shared will be used for purpose of providing you with food from Merton's Community Fridge
For any other additional support, please contact the Merton Covid-19 Community Response Hub on 020 8685 2272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does it work?
Merton’s Community Fridge is a long-term initiative to address food poverty and waste in the borough. It's essentially a big fridge where fresh surplus food is donated and redistributed to the community.
During this time of food crisis, Merton's Community Fridge will directly aid those living in isolation and/or food poverty, made possible by the support of local volunteers and key partners, including Morden Baptist Church. Food will be delivered to the Fridge from a central food hub run by Merton Council and Merton College (see below) and local supermarkets, where it will be packaged by our volunteer Fridge Friends, ready for collection.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation where many people in Merton are struggling to buy or access food. We call this food poverty and we summarise this as the inability of individuals and households to secure an adequate and nutritious diet. In the current circumstances we are using the following to describe food poverty:
A reduction in household income resulting in not enough money to buy sufficient food to feed yourself or your family
Experiencing personal crisis for reasons other than Covid-19 (e.g. debt, domestic violence) leading to an inability to access food
Delays or sanctions with social security benefits payments meaning you don’t have enough money to buy food
Health issues, disability or caring roles personally, or in the household
Lack of friends, family or social support to help buy or collect food
In Merton there has been an amazing community response to support people experiencing food poverty. Many organisations and individuals have put in place arrangements to distribute surplus or donated food to those in need and some are also crowdfunding to keep income coming in to buy more food.
Founded by Sustainable Merton, Merton’s Community Fridge, which opened in May 2020, is a long-term initiative to address food poverty and food waste in the borough. During this time of food insecurity, Merton’s Community Fridge will be lending its name to the borough’s coordinated food poverty response to form ‘Merton’s Community Fridge Network’.
Merton Council and Merton College have come together to establish a food distribution hub to assist this network of organisations to support their clients at a grassroots level. The food is supplied by the London Food Alliance.
Along with Sustainable Merton, current partners distributing food include Wimbledon Foodbank, Wimbledon Guild, The Don’s Foodbank, Kommunity Kitchen, Salvation Army, Commonside Development Trust, Friends in St. Helier, Association for Polish Family PYZA and Mitcham and Tooting Football club.
How it works
Merton College has established a Hub on its site to receive food and they have bulk storage facilities as well as freezers and fridges. The Hub is staffed by Merton Council employees. Food is being brought to the Hub by the London Food Alliance (LFA) for redistribution across the borough.
Council staff are delivering food to partner voluntary organisations and the Hub is not open to residents or non-partner organisations. The LFA is a new partnership between London’s three biggest food redistribution charities (City Harvest, FareShare and The Felix Project), to provide an emergency response service for the capital during the coronavirus crisis. They can access and divert food to vulnerable people across the city and are delivering food to new London Borough Network hubs.
The food supply comes from surplus stock, donated by wholesalers, manufacturers, restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses. There is enough of this food to feed all of London – with 1.9 million tonnes of avoidable food waste generated by the UK food industry each year.
The coordination of Merton’s Community Fridge Network is being led by Merton Council’s Public Health Department working with Adult Social Care, Environmental Health and Leisure, MVSC, SWL CCGs, and all the partner organisations involved in the food distribution and operates under the Council-led Volunteer Taskforce Steering Group. It is supported by the COVID-19 Food Insecurity Response Group, which is chaired by Public health and has representatives from:
Merton's Community Fridge is generously supported by
City Bridge Trust