Location sought for Larne community fridge
The charity Extern is urgently seeking a venue to launch a community fridge in Larne.
Funding has been secured to get the venture off the ground but a premises has still to be found.
Lynsey Poole, Extern’s Community Health and Well-being Champion, said that ideally a Larne town centre premises that would be “easily accessible” for the whole community would be preferable although she will be happy to consider other locations.
Extern’s community fridge will be stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and other surplus food staples that would otherwise go to waste. Retailers can contribute by donating surplus food.
It will be part of the environmental charity Hubbub UK’s community fridge network that was launched in 2016 to enable food to be accessed by anyone in the community who needs it and anyone can give or take food from the fridge.
Northern Ireland’s first community fridge was trialled in Cloughmills, in north Antrim, in 2017. Another has since opened in Dungiven.
Hubbub UK has predicted that the number of community fridges in the UK will have doubled to 200 by the end of 2021.
The charity says that the average family of four wastes £720 worth of food a year,
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has plans to create further community fridges across the borough.
Lynsey says: “With the increase in food bank use as a direct result of the pandemic and redundancies along with the increase of food waste from businesses who have been unable to open, it is hoped a community fridge would help reduce food waste, help with food poverty and provide a sense of community and connection (whilst staying apart).
“We are seeking what could be a temporary or interim location in which to launch, even just one or two days a week for one to two hours to get the project off the ground within the Larne area.
“For anyone interested in saving food there is also an app called Olio where trained food waste heroes are currently collecting and distributing food surplus from Tesco Express stores within Northern Ireland, including Larne Main Street store. People can sign up, download the app and then request items via the app.”
Last month the Newtownabbey Times reported that food sharing app OLIO was calling on Newtownabbey residents to volunteer to help redistribute surplus food from Tesco stores to people in need.
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