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Greener Orkney joins the Community Fridge network

Greener Orkney has received a grant of £4,000 to cover the setup costs of Orkney’s first Community Fridge.

Greener Orkney is pleased to announce that they will be joining the Community Fridge project, with the county’s first fridge opening next year.

Launched by the Co-Op and Hubbub, the network is aimed at redistributing 6.8 million meals a year across the UK.

Community Fridges are a platform for sharing surplus food within a community to reduce food waste going to landfill. They are not means tested and are open to all. Community Fridges differ from the vital role Food Banks play but can often be a complementary provision.

There are over 100 community fridges across the UK with each fridge sharing one to four tonnes of food per month. Each year these community fridges redistribute 975 tonnes of food surplus (equivalent to 1.9 million meals) and benefit up to 77,500 people. The project aims to increase the number of community fridges to 250.

Greener Orkney has been awarded a grant of £4,000 toward the initial setup costs.

Angela Fitzpatrick, Greener Orkney treasurer, said: “The premise of a Community Fridge is simple – whatever items are available can be taken by anyone. As well as food sharing, Community Fridges give people opportunities to contribute through volunteering, learning new skills and sharing their existing skills.”

Jane Nelson, chair of Greener Orkney, said: “Although the project will start small, we intend it to grow and estimate we will eventually need twenty volunteers to open and close the fridge each day, collect food from suppliers, and ensure the area is clean and tidy. We are reaching out to local charities and organisations to see how we can combine efforts to quickly expand this project.”

Possible premises have been identified but first must be approved by Environmental Health to operate as a community fridge. Opening hours will depend on the number of volunteers and what donations are received. There will be a dedicated Facebook page and volunteers will update it daily to advise what food is available.

If any organisations or individuals are interested in helping with, or finding out more about the project, please reach out to Greener Orkney: greenerorkney@gmail.com