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South Norfolk Council tackles food waste with its first Community Fridge

PUBLISHED: 16:07 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:25 20 November 2017

Chairman of Costessey Town Council,  Patrick O'’Connor and South Norfolk’s cabinet member for the environment and recycling, Kay Mason-Billig . Picture: Duncan Kerridge/ Norfolk Waste Partnership

Chairman of Costessey Town Council, Patrick O''Connor and South Norfolk's cabinet member for the environment and recycling, Kay Mason-Billig . Picture: Duncan Kerridge/ Norfolk Waste Partnership

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South Norfolk Council has opened its first Community Fridge.

South Norfolk’s cabinet member for the environment and recycling, Kay Mason-Billig and chairman of Costessey Town Council,  Patrick O’'Connor. Picture: Duncan Kerridge/ Norfolk Waste PartnershipSouth Norfolk’s cabinet member for the environment and recycling, Kay Mason-Billig and chairman of Costessey Town Council, Patrick O’'Connor. Picture: Duncan Kerridge/ Norfolk Waste Partnership

The aim of the Community Fridge is to tackle food waste by offering food that is nearing its sell-by date to others in the community.

The fridge is at West Costessey Hall and is supported by Costessey Town Council, South Norfolk Council, Recycle for Norfolk, the environmental charity Hubbub UK and Sainsbury’s Waste less Save More.

South Norfolk’s cabinet member for the environment and recycling, Kay Mason-Billig said: “No one likes to see edible food go to waste and this is such a simple idea to prevent it.”

It is not only open to members of the community as businesses are able to donate food.

She added: “Despite growing awareness of food waste generally, there aren’t that many ways for businesses to get food nearing its use-by date to others until now.”

Among the first to contribute to the scheme, by donating a selection of unsold goods, was Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer Food Hall on Longwater Retail Park, Linzers Bakery, Tesco’s and three of the East of England Co-op Food Stores at Dereham Road, Cannerby Lane Sprowston and, Earlham Green Lane.

Chairman of Costessey Town Council, Patrick O’Connor said: “We are calling on the support of food businesses in and around Costessey to donate surplus food still within its ‘use by’ date in to the Community Fridge.

“The scheme is an excellent way for local people to help themselves to good quality free food.”

The fridge is open four days a week for anyone to come in a take food for free.

The average family throws away £700 worth of food every year and at the same time 4 million people in the UK are living in food poverty.

More than half of the food waste in the UK is avoidable.

Otherwise known as ‘Honesty’ Fridges, Community Fridges have been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and other parts of the UK.

Norfolk now has seven fridges making it the biggest network of Community Fridges outside of London.

The fridge is part of a project to raise awareness of food waste known as the Costessey Discovery Community. This includes pop-up exhibitions to highlight the issue of food waste and how to prevent it.

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