Community Fridge Project led by Jenni Poulter

Community Fridge Project led by Jenni Poulter

February 11, 2018 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts



What is a Community Fridge?

A Community Fridge is a community food source that can be donated to, and used, by anyone.  The aim of the fridge is to fight food waste and support local people. It does this by collecting leftover food from businesses, then making it available to local residents and community groups. This includes individuals with limited access to affordable fresh and nutritious food.  Although it is called a Fridge, it will also facilitate frozen foods that don’t require refrigeration or freezing.


What is the difference between a Community Fridge and a Food Bank?

People are usually referred to Food Banks which act as a emergency stop gap solution. For some there is a stigma tied to using food banks and there is a cap on the number of visits that can be made by a household. Generally non-perishable food items are given out, and at set times only. In contrast, Community Fridges exist to reduce food waste and foster a spirit of sharing. They are a source of fresh, good quality food surplus for everyone in the community and operate on a trust basis rather than being means tested.


Why do I want to do this?

I’ve seen a need in my local community.  My personal view is that when I am asked for money on the street, I prefer to offer food instead.  In the last few months alone, in my local area a number of people have taken me up on this and I’ve taken them into ASDA and paid for some shopping for them.  Unfortunately I’m not a millionaire and I can’t do this for everyone!

I also don’t like having to throw food away if I’ve over shopped or I know I’m not going to be able to use it in time, and this is a solution to both of those things.

We’ve done a little market research and spoken to a few different local charitable organisations and they agree there is a need.  They are fully supportive and willing to work with us in any way they can.


What are the next steps?

Fundraising.  We need to raise at least £2500 and ideally closer to £3000 in order to fund the first year of the Community Fridge.  Ongoing costs are then likely to be around £1500 per year thereafter.

Planning the practicalities.  Once we have secured the funding, we’ll need to organise exactly when the Community Fridge will be open, register it as a food business, organise insurance etc.

Volunteers. We will need as many volunteers as possible to help staff the Community Fridge.

Marketing.  We will need to raise awareness of the Community Fridge so that people donate and use it!


How can you get involved?

Fundraising events. 

If you have an idea for a fundraising event, no matter how big or small, this is your opportunity to do it.  This gives you a reason to do, pretty much anything you want to do, in the name of the Fridge.  Put on a play, run a marathon, do a sponsored silence.  Anything!


We are really going to need all the volunteers we can get.  The more we have, the more the Fridge can be open and the more people can benefit.


If you have any ties to businesses in the Greenwich and Deptford area, especially food businesses, talk to me.  We can work out how best to approach them, how they can help us, and how we can sell it to them.  Closer to opening time, we will have a more targeted campaign, but for the time being if we could have just a few partnerships in place for when it opens, that will make all the difference.


If you have any fundraising ideas that you would love to share with Jenni, and be involved email us on:

If you have a project idea that you would like to be heard please get in touch with Sylvia Namaganda our Projects Director on

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This post was written by Mary Mambwa

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