How Fakenham is about to bring the fight against food waste to a new level

Annie Claussen-Reynolds. Picture: ALEX HURRELL

Annie Claussen-Reynolds. Picture: ALEX HURRELL - Credit: Archant

It is a cool idea designed to tackle two problems at once.

Fakenham is about to get north Norfolk’s first ‘community fridge’ - aimed at cutting food waste and helping families who may be struggling to get by at the same time.

The fridge will be placed at advice and information centre First Focus in Oak Street, as part of a wider ‘Fakenham Discovery Community’ project to raise awareness of food waste.

It will be open four half days a week for residents and businesses to share surplus food for free.

Anyone can help themselves to items that would otherwise have been wasted.

District councillor Annie Claussen-Reynolds, cabinet member for the environment, 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.

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

The average British family throws away £700 worth of food every year, and yet 4 million people are living in food poverty across the country.

It is estimated 4.1 million tonnes (61pc) of food being wasted every year is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed.

First Focus is calling on the support of businesses around the town to donate surplus food still within its use-by date to the community fridge.

Recycle for Norfolk is working to establish a total of seven community fridges across the county as part of a ‘Waste less save more’ community project, which is being run in partnership with Sainsbury’s.

John Fisher, county councillor and chairman of the Norfolk Waste Partnership, said: “We are delighted to be part of the UK’s growing Community Fridge Network.

“With ultimately seven community fridges being installed in Norfolk, we will have the largest network of community fridges outside of London.”

The fridge will be unveiled on Thursday, November 9 at midday. On the same day, there will also be a display in Fakenham’s Market Place to highlight the issue of food waste and how to prevent it.