The one question we’re asked almost daily is “Who can use the community fridge?”
Quite simply, absolutely anybody! Our ethos has always been ‘No Questions, No Judgement, Nobody Should Be Hungry’ We know from personal experience that whatever your circumstances life can often throw you curveballs and you may need a helping hand despite outside appearances or your situation ‘on paper’ suggesting otherwise. So we don’t want or need to know about your income, whether you work, the makeup of your family or any of those million and one questions you’re usually expected to answer when asking for help. In fact, more than that, you don’t even need to ask – just come and take what you need.
The other aspect to a community fridge, of course, is working with our partners to minimise food waste – collecting surplus food from supermarkets and redistributing this for the benefit of the community. This often overlaps, as those facing for poverty or insecurity will often receive perfectly good food which was otherwise destined for the bin (a great way of looking at it is that once the “Best Before” date is reached, food loses it’s commercial value, but it’ nutritional value is just the same as before!) however as the fridge is open to all, we’d much rather see this food go to good use than in the bin, so we invite everybody regardless of whether they’re struggling to put food on the table to take what they can make use of.
Please be mindful that whilst the fresh produce is often donated to us due to it’s limited shelf life, many of the store cupboard type items (household, toiletries, baby, nappies, tins and packets) are bought especially to ensure that those in need do not have to go without, so please only take these where you need them yourself, not just to stop them going to waste – as we can assure you that they won’t!
The only restriction we ever impose is that you should only take what you need and can use – taking food for the sake of it, only for it to end up in the bin (or even worse, to sell on!), undermines everything we stand for, and is contrary to the disclaimer you agree to when visiting the fridge. We’re sure nobody would ever do this, but feel it’s important to remind everybody.