This winter, the environmental charity PECT is launching a new community fridge project in March to tackle food waste and help local residents who are most in need.
Many people in the UK struggle to afford food and, according to the Food Foundation, 14% of families with children have experienced food insecurity in the past few months – made even worse by the economic impacts of Covid-19.
PECT aims to help residents in March, Cambridgeshire, by opening the town’s first community fridge, which will be located in FACT’s Community Hub (PE15 0AY). The project has been made possible thanks to section 106 monies for environmental projects administered by Fenland District Council.
The community fridge will enable local residents to access free food – sourced from farms, cafes, stores, and supermarkets – that would otherwise have gone to waste. PECT has previously established two community fridges in Peterborough, which have successfully helped reduce food waste at the same time as providing free food for the local community.
“In areas where there is demand for emergency food aid, these fridges can provide the added benefit of giving vulnerable residents access to fresh food without any stigma,” explains PECT’s Health and Wellbeing Lead Karen Igho. “Any member of the public can access the community fridges, with no referrals needed. We want to help ease pressure on residents who are struggling to feed themselves and their families.”
The new project will require around 10 volunteers to monitor and maintain the fridges and collect the food from outlets. PECT will train the volunteers to manage the fridges to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.
The flexible voluntary roles are open to anyone who has some spare time and would like to help out their local community. Activities include:
- Fridge monitor: Recording food coming into the fridge. Checking and keeping the fridge clean and maintaining temperature check records.
- Food collector: Collecting donated food from food outlets and delivering to the fridge. A full driving licence and access to own transport is required.
- Food distributor: Allocating the food in busy times, to ensure it is shared out in a fair and equal way.