Leys residents get community fridge to alleviate need and cut food waste

Published: Wednesday, 5th December 2018

The City Council has teamed up with Food for Charities to launch a community fridge at Blackbird Leys Community Centre that will help reduce food waste and alleviate need.

The community fridge will provide residents of The Leys with open access to food resources donated by local supermarkets and retailers. 

Coordinated by the Council and Food for Charities, the community fridge will be run by volunteers from across the city. The volunteers will daily collect food donated by Sainsbury’s in the Westgate which would have ordinarily gone to landfill and drop it to the fridge. 

Food for Charities run a similar fridge in Botley and are bringing their experience to benefit residents of The Leys. The fridge is open from Monday to Friday during the community centre’s opening hours. The initiative was made possible by funding from local councillors Linda Smith and Rae Humberstone of Blackbird Leys ward, and Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini and Sian Taylor of Northfield Brook ward. 

In a joint statement welcoming the launch of the community fridge, Cllrs Smith, Humberstone, Djafari-Marbini and Taylor said: “We are delighted to have The Leys Community Fridge open. We hope that residents really benefit from it and get behind an excellent asset to the community. Not only will the community fridge help to support those who may be in need, it is also an important community intervention to reduce needless food waste in our city. According to government figures, every year in the UK, around 100,000 tonnes of readily available and perfectly edible food is never eaten. This needs to change – it’s bad for our pockets, and it’s also bad for our environment.”

Riki Therivel from Food for Charities, said: “A team of Food for Charities volunteers is picking up the food from Sainsbury’s and delivering it to the community fridge. We’re all delighted to be helping with this exciting project.”

The Council and Food for Change are inviting local volunteers to get involved and food vendors to donate food resources to the community fridge. Prospective donors and volunteers should contact:

Riki from Food for Charities on: riki@phonecoop.coop or Communities@oxford.gov.uk.