Community fridge opened in Dereham to help prevent food waste

(L-R): Richard Shand from Green Pastures, Breckland councillor Harry Clarke, Breckland Council's exe

(L-R): Richard Shand from Green Pastures, Breckland councillor Harry Clarke, Breckland Council's executive member for place Paul Claussen, Anita Clarke from Love Dereham, Irene Humphrey from Green Pastures and Dereham Baptist Church minister Nigel Bayley. Picture: Steve Hitchman - Credit: Archant

Breckland Council has installed a community fridge in Dereham as part of a district-wide initiative to combat food waste.

The fridge has been installed at Green Pastures bookshop on the High Street and provides a convenient way for businesses to donate food that is past its sell-by date, but within its use-by date, for use by residents free of charge.

Breckland's initiative was launched five months ago and has now seen fridges installed in Watton, Thetford and Swaffham.

In its first three months the fridge in Watton collected and distributed around 650kg of food, while in their first two months of operation, the fridges in Thetford and Swaffham collected a further 600kg of food.

Councillor Paul Claussen of Breckland Council, said: 'Community fridges are for use by everyone. Whether you've forgotten to bring your lunch to work or perhaps just want to drop in to see if there is anything you could use towards an evening meal, everything in the fridges is there to be used - for free.

'No one likes to see good food go to waste so, whether you are a local food retailer or someone who could make use of donations, please take advantage of this new community fridge and help reduce food waste.'

Anita Clarke, community project co-ordinator for Love Dereham which is managing the community fridge, said: 'The fridge is an excellent opportunity for us to serve Dereham and draw the community together.'

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The team working with the fridge is now set to undertake training with an officer from the council's food safety team to ensure that their knowledge is up to date.

The Dereham fridge can be used during the Green Pastures opening hours of Monday to Friday 9:30am until 4pm, and on Saturday between 10am and 4pm.

For further details about making donations and using the fridge email the Love Dereham group.

Breckland Council is now turning its attention to Attleborough where it hopes to install the next community fridge. Organisers are appealing for local businesses that may be willing to host the fridge to get in touch.

If you can help contact Steve Hitchman on 01362 656870 or email Steve Hitchman at Breckland.