Reducing food waste. Building community spirit. Providing good quality surplus food for everyone.
Merton’s first Community Fridge offers an exciting opportunity to stop edible surplus food from local food producers and distributors going to waste, and instead make this available to those living in food poverty who are struggling to afford to eat.
We want to see Merton’s Community Fridge become a community food hub - a place where people from across the borough can meet to not only share and exchange food, but to learn more about food through workshops and build social connections.
Why do we need a Community Fridge?
Levels of need for food assistance in Merton are rising. Between 2015-17, the number of residents accessing food banks increased by 33%, 78% of whom live in the more deprived east of the borough.
At the same time, huge amounts of good food is going to waste - filling up already overflowing landfill sites and producing dangerous levels of greenhouse gases, if not recycled.
Merton’s local food banks act as a vital emergency stop gap for people in crisis. They distribute food to those in need but generally only non-perishable items are provided in food parcels. We know that many businesses and residents would donate fresh food if they had the opportunity to do so. A Community Fridge in Merton will provide this essential link that does not exist in the borough at present.
What is a Community Fridge?
Community Fridges are social sites of food education and sharing. They are housed in publicly accessible places - making fresh food that would otherwise be wasted freely available to the community.
Surplus perishable food is donated by local businesses or members of the public, and collected by people who need it, bridging the gap between those living in food poverty and those who do not.
Who are we?
As Merton’s leading environmental charity, Sustainable Merton is inspiring local residents and businesses to work with us to make our borough a healthier, happier and more sustainable community now and for future generations.
Food is one of our four key areas of work, and fighting food waste and tackling food poverty are both high on our agenda.
How will the Community Fridge work?
As part of the Community Fridge Network, Sustainable Merton will coordinate the running of the Community Fridge, with a project coordinator overseeing the management, and with the support of a committed team of local volunteers.
Why do we need your help?
As a small, grassroots charity, we rely on generous donations from our supporters and partners. By pledging to support our Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign you will help us to raise funds to set up, coordinate and run Merton’s first Community Fridge.
Your pledge promise* is a commitment of funding that will form part of our charity's matching pot for the Christmas Challenge, which could help us double online donations!
Our pledge target is £2,500 - to be raised by 31st August 2019. Combined with match funds from Big Give Champions, this could help us to raise an incredible £10,000!
At this point in the campaign, the minimum pledge is £100 and we are hoping that businesses will get behind us. When the Big Give Christmas Challenge goes live in December, individuals will be able to make a donation of any amount, all of which will move us closer to our final goal!
How do you make your pledge promise?
Simply CLICK HERE and take just a few minutes of your time to complete our short pledge form to support our Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign.
Please share the link with your friends, networks, businesses and organisations so that we can fight food waste and tackle food poverty in Merton together.
Thank you for your support!
* By pledging, you are promising to match online donations received by our charity via theBigGive.org.uk when the campaign is live from 3rd - 10th December 2019. Your funding is conditional upon our charity receiving online donations in the Christmas Challenge.
The Bigger Picture
Merton's Community Fridge will contribute to the borough's overall Food Poverty Action Plan - developed by Sustainable Merton in partnership with the London Borough of Merton Public Health team at the request of the Mayor of London.
Merton’s Food Poverty Action Plan aims to deliver a coordinated, partnership approach to tackling food poverty locally and reducing inequalities across the borough, and develop practical mechanisms for individuals, groups, organisations and businesses to divert food from the waste stream to those in need.
Find out more about our work to value food and improve residents' health and well being