The ALT Group need your help to create Consett Community Fridge & Veg Shed. To find out why please read more about our food sharing idea.
Food waste is a big issue in Durham
The average household throws away £470 worth of food every year and at the same time four million people in the UK are living in food poverty. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes or 61%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed. Locally, 25% of all general waste in County Durham is food and unnecessary, costing us all money and valuable resources.
Community Fridges are one tried and tested way of stopping good food ending up in the bin. They’re housed in public, accessible places, making surplus perishable food freely available to members of the public. Surplus food is provided by local businesses or members of the public and is then available for collection by people who need it. They work on an honesty basis. A successful Community Fridge will cut food waste, build stronger bonds within the community and provide people with nutritious, perishable food items.
The ALT Group
The ALT Group is a Community Interest Company created by local people for the good of the whole community, in Consett. County Durham.
We believe everyone deserves and good quality of life, no matter what their circumstance, We aim to improve our local environment and bring people together, helping everyone save money on essential living costs, while starting new friendships, learning new skills and building support systems between neighbors in our Community.
The ALT Group are friendly, local people who band together to offer free of charge community activities. Everyone is welcome to join our Community Meal, Community Garden & Quiet Time projects. We Transform unused land into beautiful or useful community spaces for everyone to enjoy using a time and skills sharing system and we tackle food waste and encourage food sharing through our Community Fridge & Veg Shed.
Consett Community Fridge & Veg Shed
Each Community Fridge is unique and we have designed a system to work for the residents Consett and the food we know is usually available. Our Community Fridge will offer fresh perishable food, such as prepared fruit, salads and vegetables, meat, dairy and cheese, prepared meals or deli food, bread and pastries. We also plan to include a freezer which can help to prolong the shelf life of food and be convenient for busy people and families. All this food is within it's use by date and is safe to eat although it may be past it's best before guideline.
Our Veg Shed will collect fresh produce grown on local allotments, surplus to the growers needs, to be made available to the community to take. Volunteers will also be able to prepare the vegetables making them easier to use for people who need extra help. We also have a Community Garden where we can compost any food which may not be suitable to eat or begins to perish. Our compost is then used to grow food for our Community Meal, so all waste is always used to it's full potential and the benefit of the system we create, shared with the community in Consett.
Why We Need Your Help
We already have secured funding from Sainsbury's Save More, Waste Less and support from communications charity Hubbub to buy the equipment we need, cover our first year running costs, have all the training and assurances we need and cover the costs of administrative support required. We are working in collboration with Durham County Council and Food Durham to make sure our system is long term, sustainable and practical for our residents.
Our only problem is we are unable to find anywhere suitable to host the fridge project.
After months of looking and not finding a suitable venue we began looking at ALTERNATIVE options for the project. Our solution is to get stuck in ourselves and create our own temporary structure to house the Community Fridge & Veg Shed. We will also be transforming an area of overgrown unused land in the town centre making it look better and serve a much needed social function.
The ALT Group always consider our environmental impact and create systems that are sustainable long term, ideally we would like to run the project using solar power and a battery storage system, with an emergency mains backup. This one off fundraising for the project will cover costs for many years of housing for the fridge and help the project become self sustainable. Your funds will allow us to purchase our own housing and energy supply, create a safe and healthy environment for food storage and make sure it looks great too.