Strengthening Neighbourhoods with The Community Fridge Network

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A community fridge is much more than just a food bank that provides food for those in need. As well as aiming to prevent household food waste and inspiring people to share food with neighbours, a community fridge is a relatively new idea that encourages community spirit by bringing people together. Food, skills, and useful items can be shared between everyone in the neighbourhood. This builds trust, improves lives and strengthens the community as a whole.

More Than Food Sharing

Of course, the prevention of food waste is important, and donations can make a world of difference for families and individuals living on the breadline. However, The Community Fridge Network from Hubbub is about much more than this.

People of all backgrounds living in the same community can come together to talk and share ideas, help others and learn new skills. There are cookery classes, the option to borrow kitchen appliances and donated items available such as clothes, toys and furniture. People can simply come in to chat if there is no one at home, or they can ask advice on how to cook something new.

The Community Fridge Network

Hubbub, the sustainable charity behind The Community Fridge Network, have so far opened a number of community fridge projects across the country. These fridges help thousands of people to access nutritious food, connect with their communities and prevent waste. Each centre is a sustainable, social hub where families can go for much-needed support.

The Camberwell community fridge is just one successful example of the huge difference projects like this can make. It was the first community fridge from the network to open its doors in April 2017. A number more have opened in following months and up to 30 more have been confirmed. Donations come from supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, as well as local residents. Over a tonne of food is given out to visitors each month.

As well as individuals within the Camberwell community, there are several organisations that make use of the fridge. These include a youth club, a refugee centre, a children’s centre, and a parents’ support group. People from all walks of life can benefit from nutritious food, education and social company from other people in their community. Some people travel up to two miles to visit the centre.

Staple items such as eggs, bread, yoghurt, and fresh fruit and vegetables are available for visitors to take home. Availability of this food ensures they can have a healthy diet, something which may not be possible without the fridge. “It is a long time since I had fresh fruit. Thank you,” said one visitor, Mel.

As well as the Community Fridge Network, there are similar projects running nationwide, such as ‘Freddie the Fridge’ in Brixton. If you would like to learn more about The Community Fridge Network, volunteer, donate, or simply become a part of it. Visit Hubbub to find your nearest project.