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Love Food Hate Waste Project: The Community Fridge


You may have noticed I have been quiet on the blogging front over the past month or so. I have been quietly working on a project which is due to launch tomorrow. 

In September I applied for funding from Auckland Council as part of the Love Food Hate Waste Fund. With that funding I planned on setting up NZ's first solidarity fridge. The solidarity fridge started in Spain and from there the concept has been adopted by other countries and cities such as Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Frome's community fridge, and Dubai's sharing fridge. I named my fridge a community fridge as the fridge would be located in a new community space, the Griffith's Gardens, also launching at the same time. After a lot of planning, health and safety documents, friends to recruit and cafes to approach, the fridge is finally launching, on Wednesday 30th November.

I have known about the food waste issues our society faces for several years now, having seen a plethora of rubbish bins owned by supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries and even households full of edible food. This is something that shocks me deeply, as having studied environmental science at university I am well aware of the amount of effort, energy and resources it takes to get food to your plate (food miles). Furthermore, majority of this food that is wasted is still perfectly edible, yet so many people are struggling to make ends meet or going hungry. I learned that this food was wasted due to a number of reasons, one of which was over-planning and having surplus with no means of distribution. I won't get too much in to the food waste issue as I have blogged about it before.

I first heard about the solidarity fridges through my friend who had used them in Germany.  Having an interest in sharing economies and food waste I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. Not long after hearing about this idea funding became available through Auckland Council for a Love Food Hate Waste event or initiative. From there the idea started to become a reality.

Ready for the launch!

How does the fridge work?
Members of the public and local businesses can donate any surplus food they may have. Most food rescue initiatives in Auckland require large amounts of food, the community fridge is great for anyone who has only a small amount of food to donate. Anyone can help themselves to the food in the fridge. Take what you need, leave what you don't. The fridge is checked and cleaned twice daily by a team of volunteers. Any food that is not safe to eat will be composted on site in the Hungry Bin worm farm provided by Auckland Council. A full food safety plan has been developed specially for the fridge, as well as an induction manual for the volunteers. The fridge is located on the corner of Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street West, at the Griffiths Gardens. The fridge will be open 24/7 until the 23rd of December 2016.

Accepted donations:
We cannot accept:

If you want to stay up to date on the fridge make sure you follow me on:
& Love Food Hate Waste on:
And join the Facebook Event.

For more information on food waste:
Watch these great documentaries: 
Just Eat It
Waste Cooking (in German with subtitles)
Hugh's War on Waste (BBC TV series)

Check out Rob Greenfield's website and his TED talk on the issue.
Read American Wasteland by Jonathon Bloom.

A massive thank you to the following people and organisations, who this project would not have been possible without your help:
WasteMinz and Auckland Council staff; especially Jenny Marshall, Lucy Pierpoint and Liz Allen.
Envision; for fixing, transporting and providing the fridge.
Natasha Prendergast from FCP Training; for writing the food safety plan and volunteer induction. 
Alex Bygrave; for making a great poster for the fridge.
Andrea Ralph; for drawing the food illustrations.
The fridge volunteers; Anastasia Nenarokova, Andrea Ralph, Devin Grant Miles, Hayley Haynes, Laura Scaife, Lizzy Gayfer,  Rebekah Clements, Renali Narayan, Sophia Brown.  

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