Volunteers needed: just two hours a week to help the environment and the community

Published: Monday, 29th July 2019

The Leys Community Fridge needs volunteers to help keep it running.

The community fridge, which is located in Blackbird Leys Community Centre, provides local residents with access to free food donated by supermarkets and retailers that would otherwise go to landfill. The fridge is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 3pm.

Coordinated by Oxford City Council and Food for Charities, the community fridge is run by a team of eight volunteers from across the city.

People who can volunteer two hours per week are needed to support the fridge by picking up food from supermarkets and dropping it off at the fridge. Volunteers need to have access to a car and expenses will be covered.

In December 2018, the City Council and Food for Charities launched the community fridge at Blackbird Leys Community Centre as a way to cut back on food waste as well as providing a valuable food resource.

The Leys Community Fridge can be used by anyone in the area, and can be of particular use in the long summer holidays when many families have to provide more meals at home.

The community fridge stocks food from local supermarkets which otherwise would be thrown away, and provides mainly bread, fruit and vegetables. The fridge is run with strict food safety regulations, so does not stock meat, fish, cooked rice, cream pastries or anything past the ‘use-by’ date.

Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet member for supporting local communities, said “The community fridge is such a fantastic resource, which not only helps to reduce food waste but also reduce hunger. The fridge has the potential to become a real community hub, encouraging a sense of sharing to strengthen community bonds. But to work towards this aim, the fridge relies on the much-appreciated help of volunteers who give up their time to see that this great community asset is available and accessible to the public.”

Riki Therivel, a volunteer for the Leys Community Fridge, said “I like the environmental and social ‘win-win’ of volunteering for the community fridge; I really feel like I’m helping my local community whilst also reducing food waste.”            

If you have two hours to spare a week, and are interested in volunteering for the Leys Community Fridge, please contact Lucie at [email protected] for more information about times and supermarket locations. Journeys to local supermarkets are made every day, so there is flexibility around when volunteers can work.