‘Community Fridges’ otherwise known as ‘Solidarity’ or ‘Honesty’ Fridges, have been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and the UK. Since 2016, fridges in the UK have been launched by several community groups, including in Frome, Brixton and Swadlincote. Each fridge operates in different ways depending on local circumstances.
A ‘Community Fridge Network’ has been set up by Hubbub to create a flourishing network of safely and effectively run fridges that re-distribute surplus food across the UK and beyond.
Community Fridges primarily address the environmentally damaging issue of food waste by offering a hyper local food redistribution scheme. This provides the opportunity for domestic and business food waste to move up the food and drink materials hierarchy offering a significant impact on CO2 emissions. According to WRAP, if we stopped wasting avoidable food and drink it would save ca. 19 Mt CO2eq. On average Community Fridges in the UK are redistributing 1.5 Tonnes of food per month. Based on WRAP’s calculations that 4.4 mt = 19 mt CO2e, one community fridge will be able to reduce CO2e by 77.76t per year.
Community Fridges also help to address social isolation, and support community cohesion through the normalisation of sharing food and other household items and the provision of a communal space. They are also sites of food skills and education and a springboard for community action on climate. First stop a fridge, next a community garden, food, coop or share shop. In many cases they also provide fresh food to those struggling to access regular, healthy meals. However it is important that Community Fridge provision does bot become a substitute for robust social programmes which address the root cause of food poverty.
About Hubbub UK
Hubbub UK is a charity that creates environmental campaigns with a difference - they create positive and playful campaigns that inspire people to make healthier, greener lifestyle choices. Hubbub runs the Community Fridge Network across the UK and beyond.