'It's incredibly heart-warming:' Community fridge marks 'significant' milestone
PUBLISHED: 17:11 23 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 23 December 2019
An initiative that aims to reduce food waste and provide fresh food for those in need has marked a significant milestone.
Since Suffolk's first Community Fridge opened in Lowestoft in March and teamed up in partnership with the Lowestoft branch of Marks and Spencer in August, the project has now reached the one ton mark for surplus food being redistributed into the community.
The Community Fridge, in the Roman Hill area of Lowestoft, opened at Saint Andrews Church nine months ago with the support of Community Action Suffolk.
Mark Leftley, manager of the Lowestoft M&S store, expressed delight at the partnership with Lowestoft Community Fridge.
He said: "Marks and Spencer is working towards being a zero waste business.
"We prefer to give end of shelf life produce to community projects, such as Lowestoft Community Fridge, rather than sending the produce to landfill."
Rev Damon Rogers, Vicar of Saint Andrews Church in Roman Road, added: "Having a reliable partner, in Marks and Spencer, makes a huge difference for the Community Fridge.
"We share the ideal of reducing food waste to a minimum, but we know that those who use the fridge are often experiencing some degree of food poverty, and so redistributing this surplus food into our Roman Hill community really makes a difference to the day to day lives of people living at the margins of society."
Dave Eagle, from Community Action Suffolk, said: "It's incredibly heart-warming to see the Lowestoft Community Fridge project helping support those in the local community in times of need.
"Rev Rogers and the dedicated team of volunteers, at Saint Andrews Church, have been doing a fantastic job in the co-ordination and delivery of this project since its launch in March, not only in providing essential food items, but also a listening ear for those that use this community resource.
"Today also marks a significant milestone. Thanks to partnership working with our local Marks and Spencer store in Lowestoft, who became part of the crucial supply chain in August, food provisions has hit the one ton mark."
Locally a food plan is being developed with the aim of creating a community fridge network for Lowestoft.
The community fridge network in Lowestoft will give local food retail businesses an opportunity to partner with registered and accountable community groups, who will use surplus food to make a difference in their own communities and work to reduce food waste.