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The People's Fridge tackles food wasted in Brixton

We were very excited by news of a community fridge that launched in Brixton last week.

Literally a big secure fridge in the centre of Pop Brixton - also home to Kricket’s first restaurant and new Cantonese restaurant Duck Duck Goose - it’s a food-sharing initiative (the first of its kind in London, although there are others in Spain, Germany and Wiltshire), which encourages people and businesses to donate spare food, or food that would otherwise be thrown away. Jamie Oliver has also commended it.

Having soft launched before Christmas, the fridge has so far played host to everything from leftover dishes from some of the food traders at Pop Brixton, to doughnuts, carrots and other fruit and vegetables, and anyone donating just has to write their name and a note of what they have left. The fridge is then cleaned and managed daily by volunteers, including some of Pop Brixton’s traders, to ensure that the food in it is within date and safe to eat.

The project is the brainchild of a group of food activists and residents who work out of shared workspace Impact Hub Brixton, and was set up following a crowdfunding campaign in July 2016 in which £2,270 was raised by 127 supporters - a mixture of residents, food activists, traders in Pop Brixton, Brixton market traders, and a group of Londoners who say they “dislike food poverty and hate food waste” and who believe that “too much food is discarded unnecessarily. We believe it should be redirected to those who can use it.”

“It's cool to be kind,” says fridge co-founder Olivia Haughton, who also works on community food projects in London. “We have a whole list of ideas for giving and sharing that will help build more generous communities that care about one another. The fridge is a great starting point and it's a good way to get people talking about food waste.”

The founders are currently in talks with Lambeth Council to find a suitable street-side location outside Pop Brixton, and as such as are currently looking for extra funds with which to build a permanent wooden frame around the fridge so that it can be sat outside Pop Brixton, as well as to set up more fridges in Lambeth.

The project is supported by Pop Brixton, the Lambeth Food Partnership, Incredible Edible Lambeth, the Brixton Pound and Impact Hub Brixton. 

For more information, follow the fridge on Twitter @peoplesfridge or email peoplesfridge@gmail.com.

Photo by Sebastian Wood.

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