For the past 5 months we have had a “Community Fridge” in Thakeham and it is organised by our Youth Workers-Matt and Pippa Harder on behalf of St Mary’s Thakeham and Sullington. Actively serving our community through mission and loving our neighbours, church is not just a building remember.
So, what is a Community Fridge? It is a place where local people can collect free food, often baked goods and fresh fruit and vegetables, that is surplus to requirements from local Supermarkets. This is food that is still within its use-by date but is deemed waste because of having a short date, damaged packaging or over ordering. What we collect on a Wednesday and Thursday evening from Tesco’s Pulborough is potluck! That adds to the charm of the scheme! Pippa and Matt work in partnership with food waste reduction charity “FareShare”, who require us both to have Food Hygiene level 2 and inspect our cold storage regularly.
How did it start? 4 years ago FareShare contacted us to see if we would be interested in joining their community food waste scheme. We did and began to collect the occasional donation of food from Tesco to use at Youth Club; for snack, activities or to give away to our families. When the pandemic started, Youth Club stopped but the FareShare food waste calls just kept on coming! We started to collect regularly, two evenings a week and began to leave the food out by our house for locals.
5months later and it is going strong. Meadow Stores have joined our cause and happily donate “end of day” goods weekly. There are folk waiting at our gate at 9.30a.m on a Friday morning for the produce to be put out (before Pippa has even advertised there is food available on our church Facebook page). Local people from all walks of life, working together to reduce the 38,000 tons of food waste per week. Thats 1/3 of your supermarket going in the bin each week! If saving food appeals to you then pop down to 31 Furze Common Road, Thakeham on a Friday morning and see what delights await you… “