Lewes Community Fridge is open!
10.30am-12.30pm, Saturdays, 2 Fisher Street, Lewes BN7 2DL
Lewes Climate Hub is opening its Community Fridge doors – providing a place in the centre of town where anyone can share, receive and donate fresh produce to tackle the cost of living and reduce food waste, as the Hub’s Dinah Morgan explains.
Right now, millions of people in the UK face hunger and a struggle to pay for groceries. Yet an estimated 3 million tonnes of edible food waste is generated by the UK food industry each year (source: The Felix Project).
Community Fridges aim to tackle that waste. By providing a community-run site where local people can share food for free – whether from local supermarkets, local food producers, allotments and gardens – they’re playing a key role in stopping fresh food going to waste.
Today, there are over 400 Community Fridges in the UK, redistributing over 3,000 tonnes of food (equivalent to 7.5 million meals) a year. Now we can welcome another, with the opening of Lewes Community Fridge at Lewes Climate Hub at 2 Fisher Street (just round the corner from the Tourist Information Centre).
How is it different from a food bank?
Lewes has four food banks, excellently run by volunteers, to support those facing severe food hardship. Community Fridges are meant to complement these banks’ work rather than compete with them:
- Anyone can drop in and use a Community Fridge – you don’t need a referral and there’s no limit on how many times you can visit
- Community Fridges focus on redistributing perishable produce – much of which food banks can’t take.
- Visitors to Community Fridges can choose what they take away.
Community Fridges are completely free to use – although donations to support their running are always very welcome.
How will Lewes Community Fridge work?
Run by volunteers, Lewes Community Fridge will be open each Saturday from 10.30am-12.30pm at the Fisher Street premises, with a focus on fresh and perishable food. Anyone is welcome to drop in and see what’s available.
Produce is being provided by local supermarkets and businesses. But we’re always looking for further donations. So whether you’re a local producer, a grower, or an allotment or veg patch owner with a surplus, we’d love to hear from you.
Donations can be regular or one-off – whatever you can spare, the Community Fridge will look to redistribute it.
A big thank-you
Lewes Community Fridge is only possible with the help of a number of people and organisations. First, the sustainability charity Hubbub (which really spearheaded the Community Fridge concept in the UK) has provided us with initial funding in its bid to have 500 community fridges in the UK by the end of 2023.
We also warmly thank Emily Clarke at Landport Foodbank and Community Cafe for her support and good advice. Big thanks too to Anna Scott, who has been running a Community Fridge alongside Kings Church Food Bank for a year. Anna suggested the idea of a Community Fridge in the centre of town; without her help, we wouldn’t have been able to open!
Spread the word!
We hope Lewes Community Fridge will be a welcoming space to receive, share and donate food – and discuss all the issues around making food accessible for all.
We just ask everyone to support Lewes Community Fridge however they can – by donating, visiting, (even volunteering at it if you can) and spreading the word. Let’s reduce waste, support good nutrition and, hopefully, increase food security for everyone across our town.
See opening days and more on our Facebook page here. If you have a question or would like to donate produce, email email@example.com