A project that reduces food waste and provides free food to people in need has celebrated its one year anniversary, revealing it has prevented over 23 tonnes of food being wasted in its first year.
The Dorking Community Fridge was first opened by Clare Davies and Tony White in September 2017, after they were moved to act when they saw an item about food waste on the Channel 4 Show ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’.
In June 2018, a second local community fridge opened on the Goodwyns estate thanks to a £500 grant from Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group. It now provides food to around 50 families a week on the estate and a third community fridge is due to open in Leatherhead imminently.
Food at the Community Fridge is free for anyone who needs it and is donated by an assortment of individuals and organisations, including local supermarkets and food surplus agency, FareShare.
Clare Davies, co-founder of the Dorking Community Fridge, said:
At the start we thought that if we saved three tonnes of food over the year we would have achieved our goal. But this week – our anniversary week – that total stands at 23.2 tonnes, or around 46,000 meals!
Clarion Futures has been fantastic with funding and connecting us with the people we need to talk to. The response to the Goodwyns Fridge has been amazing and with Clarion Futures’ support, we’re thrilled to be about to launch a third Fridge in Leatherhead.
Tony White, Clare’s co-founder, added:
Waste food is everywhere; the problem is huge and our mission is to do whatever we can to stop it from being thrown out.
Word is spreading and recently we received emails from two airline food suppliers who had surplus meals. I’m delighted to say that we managed to move 32,000 of these meals to local shelters and homeless charities.
Sheena Field, Neighbourhood Investment Officer at Clarion Futures, added:
We are really pleased to support the Dorking Community Fridge and have also provided food hygiene training to their volunteers. I’m delighted we’ve been able to help the service expand into two new areas so it can benefit even more local people.