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.