Town Council promotes less wasting, more sharing with Hunstanton Community Fridge proposal

Town Council promotes less wasting, more sharing with Hunstanton Community Fridge proposal

A simple solution to the huge problem of food waste.

Community Fridges were first tested in Spain and Germany where they are often called ‘solidarity’ or ‘honesty’ fridges. They give local businesses and residents the opportunity to donate surplus perishable food which is then available for anyone in the community who needs it to take. Referrals are not required and the fridge provides access to fresh food without any stigma.

There are currently fourteen Community Fridge projects operating in Norfolk and the Town Council in Hunstanton sees this as an opportunity to help tackle food waste and to assist residents who are in need.

It is a shameful fact that in the UK we throw away far too much, the average family throws away £60 worth of food every month. That’s a whopping £720 per year! However, at the same time, and especially during the current pandemic, some people in the east of England are really struggling financially. The survey consultants, Censuswide, on behalf of Hubbub* reported in April 2020 that 26.7% of families said they were having to restrict the amount of snacks children eat so they don’t run out of food, 22.2% reported shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables and 41% shortages of eggs.

The council is hoping to recruit volunteers who have a few hours a week to spare and would like to help out the local community. Activities would include recording food coming into the fridge, checking and keeping the fridge clean, maintaining temperature check records and assisting members of the public. Full training would be given. If you would like to volunteer for this project please contact the Town Clerk (contact details below).

Of course food donations are key and the council is asking local businesses and retailers within the food industry who would be interested in donating food for the community fridge to please get in touch with the Town Clerk.

“We need the support of local businesses to make this idea possible, especially the larger supermarket chains,” said Cllr. Amanda Knight who brought the proposal to the council having been in contact with Hubbub.

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If there is sufficient interest within the community it is hoped to have the fridge open in late Spring, or when current COVID restrictions have lifted to a level where the safety of volunteers and those involved can be assured.

Mayor Tony Bishopp said: “As the UK rebuilds from the impact of COVID-19 community fridges are evolving to help the UK meet a range of financial, social and environmental challenges including cutting food waste, promoting healthy eating, supporting people facing financial challenges and tackling loneliness.

The hope is that the Hunstanton Town Council community fridge will pave the way to a more sustainable approach to food insecurity, as well as being a gateway to other community services and activities that the council can provide.”

*Hubbub says: “ We believe that to create positive environmental change at the scale and speed needed, we need to get everyone on board. That's why since 2014, we've been designing campaigns that inspire ways of living that are good for the environment.”

To help households cut food waste Hubbub has also joined forces with Norfolk and Suffolk councils to launch #FoodSavvy, a campaign to promote the simple and easy things that we can all to do make sure that food avoids the bin. The ambition is to cut waste by 20% by 2025 in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Town Clerk’s contact derails are: 01485 532402 or email townclerk@hunstantontowncouncil.gov.uk

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