Marlborough Community Fridge is a collaborative project between Marlborough Town Council and Transition Marlborough (TM). Milly Carmichael of TM approached the Town Council back in the summer of 2020, seeking support with a community initiative to reduce food waste locally. After a couple of discussions and some joined up thinking, the idea of a Community Fridge evolved. A public meeting was held which demonstrated a lot of community support.
Volunteers were rallied and the fridge launched in June 2021. A year down the line and we are still going from strength to strength.....a huge success story which we will continue to build on here in Marlborough, with the support of our amazing volunteers and the local community who visit us each week.
A Community Fridge is a place to redistribute fresh, good quality, in-date food that might otherwise not get eaten. Some supplies come from local food retailers and we welcome unopened, in-date foods and home-grown produce from households too. You can find out more from Hubbub at www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge
It is free to access, there are no criteria that have to be met to use it so it is open to everyone in the local community. Our plans include a PYO herb garden to complement the fridge and we're composting any actual food waste in a Green Johanna composter on site.
The fridge itself was generously donated and set of up costs have been met through fund-raising, including a £500 seed-funding grant from the Transition Network and match funding from the Area Board.
A group of willing volunteers have stepped up to help run the fridge and are engaging with local food retailers to build the working relationships needed to supply the fridge with a regular and varied supply of fresh and ambient foods.
Do your research.... we did a lot! Talk to others who have set similar things up and go visit them, ask lots of silly questions! Ask your local community what they think before ploughing ahead, local support is really important. Look after your volunteers! Get feedback.
Every bit of food we receive is weighed in. Every bit of food taken from the fridge is weighed out.... the difference being the amount of food we have saved from going in the bin. Simple! We generate stats each month based these figures. We log all visitors to the fridge and the number of volunteers we have on board.