The Walton-on-Thames Community Fridge is a free resource available to everyone.
The ethos of the fridge is to help reduce food waste.
Our “official” community fridge days are Mondays and Thursdays, but we do also recieve donations on a Wednesday and Friday. Please therefore keep an eye on our social media pages for updates.
All the food that we stock has been donated from food retailers, food growers and members of the public. A lot of the food is on its Best Before date, but this does not mean that it is unhealthy or dangerous. It simply means it may have tasted a little better the day before… After all, a potato or a banana doesn’t know what day it was “created”. Yet more food has been part of a multi pack that cannot be sold individually.
View this post on Instagram
We opened the Walton-on-Thames Community Fridge on 14th February 2022, with fantastic support from HUBBUB and the COOP. They money they awarded us allowed us to purchase a large fridge, insurance, cleaning materals and pay for volunteer food hygiene training.
We signed up to Farshare UK and Neighbourly, two organisations that facilitate the redistribution of surplus food from retailers to organisations like ourselves. Via these two organisations we now have strong relationships with Waitrose Hersham, Sainsburys Walton-on-Thames and Tesco.
We accept fresh and ambient food. Items such as bread, fruit, vegetables, tinned and packaged goods, hygiene products and household items. We try to support our local foodbank as often as possible so any good quality, long life items will be put aside and delivered to them.
Due to the cost of living crisis, we have recently seen a massive increase in demand for food, but sadly our supply does not match this demand. We are working very hard to identify new sources of surplus food to help those in need.
Poverty or financial difficulty is not our remit. Our remit is reducing waste. HOWEVER, we will do everything we can to help our community at times of crisis and need.
We never know how much or what types of food we are going to recieve. Somedays are therefore “better” than others.
Some of the food we get is not fit for human consumption, or is simply too far “gone”. We are often asked what we do with it. We have 2 outlets. The first is our hot composter. It’s a sealed unit that if managed correctly will digest the food to create compost in a matter of months, as opposed to years. It also is pest resistant so won’t attract vermin. The second option is donating this food to a local farm. They use it to feed the animals, and in return we recieve eggs and sometimes plants for the community garden.
To date (March 2023), we have saved 12,300kg of food from entering landfill. The fridge has been accessed by 4500 people in that time.