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Cool idea to cut food waste comes to Fakenham

PUBLISHED: 15:44 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:44 14 November 2017

North Norfolk district councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds, left, with April Simnor of First Focus at the opening of the new community fridge in Fakenham. Picture: Courtesy North Norfolk District Council

North Norfolk district councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds, left, with April Simnor of First Focus at the opening of the new community fridge in Fakenham. Picture: Courtesy North Norfolk District Council

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It is a simple idea aimed at cutting a growing problem - food waste.

North Norfolk district councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds at the opening of the new community fridge in Fakenham. Picture: Courtesy North Norfolk District CouncilNorth Norfolk district councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds at the opening of the new community fridge in Fakenham. Picture: Courtesy North Norfolk District Council

The first ‘Community Fridge’ in north Norfolk has now been opened, and anyone can visit Fakenham’s First Focus centre and help themselves to its contents.

Councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds, North Norfolk’s cabinet member for the environment, was at First Focus on November 9 for the launch of the fridge, which will be stocked with surplus food from residents and businesses.

She said: “No one likes to see edible food go to waste and this is such a simple idea to prevent it.

“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. The Community Fridge is an open access fridge which we hope local food retailers and residents will embrace by making good use of it.”

Mrs Claussen-Reynolds said 63,000 tonnes of food was wasted each year in Norfolk - enough to fill 140 Boeing 747s.

Working with the council on the Community Fridge project have been Recycle for Norfolk, the environmental charity Hubbub UK and Sainsbury’s.

It is estimated that 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.

The fridge is part of the wider project to raise awareness of food waste known as the Fakenham Discovery Community, and is one of seven community fridges to be opened the county.

Norfolk’s first Community Fridge was opened in Watton at the start of November, and Watton Bakery become the first business to confirm it would contribute to the scheme by donating a selection of unsold goods daily at 3.30pm.

John Fisher, Norfolk Waste Partnership chiarman, said: “We will have the largest network of Community Fridges outside of London.”

Fakenham’s fridge is available to use during First Focus’s opening hours - 9am to 1pm Monday to Wednesday and until 3pm on Thursday.

The idea has already been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and other parts of the UK.

To find out more about the Community Fridge as well as other projects, visit www.recyclefornorfolk.com

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