You can’t argue that the best visions in life are the most simple, and the concept behind The People’s Fridge is just that: a public fridge where people can give spare food, and those who need food can take it.
Originating at Brixton’s Impact Hub, a think-tank of residents, food activists and traders came in from the cold to discuss how they grow, eat and distribute food. However, as they fought to stamp out food poverty and waste in their community by distributing spare food from local businesses, they were shown a story about a food fridge in India – and the idea for The People’s Fridge was born.
The mission, aside from providing food to society’s most disadvantaged, is to simultaneously bring communities together and wage war on waste. However, in order to see this mission through to reality, the team behind The People’s Fridge needed the crowd’s help to buy a big, solid fridge that could handle a little bit of wear and tear, as well as a little extra money for maintenance and upkeep.
Thanks to the power of the crowd, consisting of 127 individuals, The People’s Fridge is now open seven days a week in Brixton, helping to provide easily accessible health and nourishment for all. Supporters, much like us at Crowdfunder HQ, were inspired by the project’s simplicity. Traders can now put their surplus food into a big fridge, situated on the streets of Brixton, and those in need can take it home and eat it.
Tackling food waste in the borough is about joining up the people who need good food but can’t afford it with the shops, restaurants and cafes who have good food at the end of the day to redistribute,” said a spokesman for the project. “The People’s Fridge is about joining those groups up.
Restaurateurs, businesses and people passionate about food waste flocked to get on board. Volunteers built a wooden frame for the fridge, designed by local architects Carl Turner Architects, and regular checks are carried out on the food inside to make sure that it’s in-date and safe to eat.
Since successfully crowdfunding to install the fridge, the focus has been on reaching out to work with food traders and involve the whole community, encouraging neighbourhood cohesion.
However, with shocking statistics revealing that the average household continues to throw away £700 of food every year, and that 1/3 of produce grown is never eaten, The People’s Fridge hope that their project inspires others to do their bit too.
Their spokesman added, “We want more fridges in Lambeth and beyond, providing support and materials to local groups to set up their own community fridges and food-sharing initiatives.”
And their view on crowdfunding to make their idea happen?
It’s brought old friends out of the woodwork,” said Olivia Haughton, one of the volunteers. “We really hope it’s going to inspire others to start new fridge projects. Crowdfunder and crowdfunding has been really great. The outreach support has been really lovely; we didn’t expect to get such a personal service.
• Want to know more about The People’s Fridge? Visit their Crowdfunder project page here.