The world’s first Community Fridge Network will double in size from 50 to 100 by the end of 2020, thanks to National Lottery funding.
Founded by Hubbub in July 2017, community fridges are across the UK and provide a place for local residents and businesses to donate surplus food, which is available for anyone in the community to take, with each fridge on average saving half a tonne of food per month.
It’s estimated £13bn of edible food is thrown away from UK households every year.
As well as reducing food waste, Hubbub says the fridges encourage a spirit of sharing and can help strengthen community bonds.
In a survey of the users of 21 Community Fridges, 50% said they have improved their sharing skills, 45% say they use it for cooking and growing workshops and 30% said they are now sharing other household items too.
Trewin Restorick, founder and CEO, Hubbub said: ‘We’re thrilled with how successful Community Fridges have been and the rapid growth of the Network. The Fridges not only save valuable food, they help bring people together and have become real community hubs.
‘Some people had doubts at the outset as to whether the Community Fridge Network would work, but the fridges have developed to be positive, social spaces that have proven the doubters wrong. We’d encourage anyone interested in visiting or opening a Fridge to visit our website and we’d love even more businesses to get involved as demand is outstripping supply in some areas.’
James Harcourt, England director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: ‘Thanks to National Lottery players another 50 Community Fridges are set to open across the UK.
‘We are proud to be supporting Hubbub which gives communities the opportunity to learn new skills, and create a healthier and greener lifestyle together by sharing food and reducing waste. Not only will this strengthen communities, but also enable them to thrive.’
Also known as ‘Solidarity’ or ‘Honesty’ fridges, Community Fridges have also been successfully introduced in Spain and Germany.