High levels of food waste and high levels of food insecurity are often found side-by-side at the national, municipal, and even neighbourhood levels. And many food banks and distribution programs aren’t set up to accept fresh produce, small quantities, or home-grown/-made items. The community fridges highlighted in the video below are one U.K. community’s experiment in helping local residents and retailers give their surplus food directly to neighbours in need, including those who might not qualify or be able to participate in other food benefits programs.
Why send perfectly good food to the compost – or worse, the landfill – when someone else would happily eat it? We love to see innovative ideas that allow each of us to take charge of our own choices and make a real difference. We’re ecstatic that FOUND will be at this year’s Fix-it Fair, to share the excellent work that they do in Nova Scotia to reduce food waste by gathering and sharing forgotten fruits and vegetables. They also work with other food-rescue groups to keep as much good food on plates and out of bins as possible.
The story about community fridges also reminds us of a joke that might sound very familiar to Atlantic Canadian gardeners at this point in the season: A gardener, hoping to get rid of some of her innumerable zucchini, puts a bag of zucchini in the backseat and drives to the store. She leaves her car unlocked, hoping that someone will steal the bag while she’s inside. When she returns, she looks hopefully in the backseat – and sees three full bags of zucchini.
We say: that’s three bags for the community fridge!