Campaigners for a community fridge in Uckfield were given a big boost last night (May 4).
Town council staff are being asked to explore potential suitable locations which will be easily accessible.
This website reported at the end of February on the efforts being made to establish a community fridge.
Similar schemes have become established elsewhere in the country where “good food” is redistributed to the community to avoid unnecessary waste.
Community fridges are open to all and the food is free.
Members of Uckfield Town Council’s environment and leisure committee last night heard from Amy Fieldhouse who is working to get the Uckfield scheme off the ground.
All walks of life
She told the meeting community fridges were an offer for people in all walks of life.
“They are equally beneficial to someone on the breadline, struggling to eat fresh food – especially fruit and veg – as it is to a family who are passionate about the environment, reducing the food miles and wanting to see food waste minimised,” she said.
“Everyone can give and everyone can receive”
Community fridges are more than just a fridge
“Research has shown that having a community fridge in the town increases trust in the community.”
She believed the way Uckfield had come together to help people during the coronavirus pandemic showed that now was the time to get the scheme off the ground.
“Community spirit has rocketed around us,” she said.
“Now is the time to be offering something free and sustainable to the people of Uckfield for nothing.”
She said a number of local businesses were prepared to be involved in the project.
Two keys to success were the location and how the fridge was portrayed adding:
“It should not be seen as a last resort for those who are destitute but an attractive offer for all.”
Ms Fieldhouse suggested putting the community fridge building on the Luxford Field.
Cllr Duncan Bennett wasn’t sure the Luxford Field was the best spot and wondered whether there was space at The Hub in Civic Approach.
Cllr Karen Bedwell said community spirit was very high and urged the council to move the project along as quickly as possible.
“If we are going to do this, we do need to move it along reasonably quickly and not get it caught up in too much council red tape where it drifts on for weeks and months,” she said.
“I think we need to capture the moment.”
Cllr James Edwards suggested council officers be asked to assess where the fridge could go and his proposal was agreed by the meeting.