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Town Centre Community Fridge Distributed 13 Tonnes of Surplus Food in a Year

Published on: 1 Apr, 2023
Updated on: 4 Apr, 2023

A single community fridge in Guildford town centre distributed 13 tonnes of food in a year from shops and supermarkets in the town.

Thus saving an estimated 35 tonnes of CO2 e (carbon dioxide equivalent) from being emitted into the atmosphere, according to a spokesperson from Zero Carbon Guildford.

Thank you to the Guildford stores from the Zero community fridge team. From left: Zero co-ordinator Julie Dickson, Eleanor Herdson from Sainsbury’s, Matt Grebot from the Co-op, Kim Pilgrim from Sainsbury’s, Co-op Guildford Member Pioneer Chris Yates, Becci Eicke from M&S, community fridge lead volunteer Kate Gallagher, Emma Griffiths from M&S, Henrietta Griffiths from Loveday, Craig-Wood, Fiona Poulter and Nicky Slynn, all Zero community fridge volunteers.

Food waste accounts for about 6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would have the third-biggest carbon footprint after the US and China, says the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The community fridge, run by the environmental charity Zero Carbon Guildford, celebrated its first anniversary by inviting local store managers to the North Street community centre.

Community fridge co-ordinator Julie Dickson said the managers saw first hand the wonderful impact that their donations are making on the local community, while saving carbon dioxide emissions as a result of food not going to landfill.

She said: “We have created a welcoming community space where people pop in and are free to take leftover quality food. Everyone is welcome.

“Together with our partner stores, we are helping to reduce food waste and CO2 emissions. It’s a win-win!

“The fridge is open every Tuesday and Thursday in Zero’s community hub in Friary Street. It is run entirely by volunteers and it helped to feed an impressive 8,000 visitors during the year.

“It was set up with funding support from the Community Fridge Network run by the national environmental charity Hubbub, and the Co-op.

“Stores which have donated regularly are Waitrose, M&S, Aldi, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Hoxton Bakehouse, Gail’s Bakery and Black Sheep Coffee.

Zero Carbon Guildford was recognised for its efforts by receiving the Innovative Community Project 2023 award from the Climate Coalition organisation and was praised in Parliament by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Angela Richardson MP for Guildford said Zero Carbon Guildford had “taken what is often an overwhelming subject and turned it into local issues with tangible solutions to give people agency”.

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