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Community Fridge to launch in Pollokshields, Glasgow

The first Community Fridge in Pollokshields, Glasgow will officially launch on the 20th of February. The initiative will be run by Pollokshields Development Agency, supported by the environmental charity Hubbub and enabled by a grant from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund.

Cllr Jon Molyneux will cut a green ribbon to launch the Community Fridge followed by a celebration lunch and activities.

The PDA Goes Green Community Fridge, will be located at 4 Maxwell Rd (G41 1QE), and is part of a first wave of Community Fridge Network fridges in Scotland which will reduce food waste whilst bringing people together and encouraging a spirit of sharing within communities. The fridge will be open from 21 February to enable residents and local businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted.

The fridge will be run by Pollokshields Development Agency (PDA), which for the last 25 years have been promoting cohesion, integration and social inclusion in Glasgow through developmental and educational programmes. PDA will welcome donations of unopened, packaged foods within their use by date and raw fruit or vegetables, which will then be available to anyone in the community to take. As well as reducing food waste, the group will use the fridge to strengthen community bonds, become a hub for food education and climate conversations, promoting the benefits of the sharing economy, addressing health and wellbeing and reducing social isolation.

The Pollokshields fridge is one of the first Community Fridges to be launched in Scotland, following Gorebridge, with Dundee and Kirkcaldy to come. The very first Community Fridge in Scotland opened on the Isle of Mull in late 2018 and is already a resounding success. The five Scottish fridges bring to 50 the total number of Community Fridges now up and running across the UK.

Food waste is a big issue in Scotland. Every household throws away on average £460 worth of food every year. Most of that waste (around 60%) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed. The Scottish Government has recently introduced a target to reduce food waste in Scotland by 33% by 2025 and Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network has been praised by Zero Waste Scotland for its approach to tackling the issue.

Tahir Mohammed, PDA’s Secretary said:

“This is an amazing project, the benefits of this community fridge are manifold. It could extend beyond providing people with easy access to fresh nutritious food and reducing food waste, to impacts on health and wellbeing and reducing social isolation.

“As this project grows we will encourage more and more people to make full use of this facility and build a culture that is warm, welcoming and inclusive, as it becomes embedded in communities across the Southside of Glasgow. All our visitors are welcome to get involved, whether by giving or receiving food or coming along to our free Energy Advice drop-in surgeries and food and textile waste reduction workshops, and to be art of PDA Goes Green Advisory Board. Contact us at info@pdaglasgow.org.uk if you would like to learn more or volunteer with our project.”

Cllr Jon Molyneux, Scottish Green Party Councillor for Pollokshields Ward, said:

“A community fridge is a really simple idea which can stop the needless waste of perfectly good food, saving money and fighting climate breakdown. I’m delighted that the people of Pollokshields are going to be among the first in Glasgow to benefit from this exciting opportunity.”

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful manage the Climate Challenge Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government and Alastair Seaman, Operations Manager, said:

“We are delighted to see another Community Fridge launch in Scotland. Community Fridges provide an opportunity for local communities to address the problem of food waste, helping to tackle carbon emissions and climate change, whilst ensuring anyone who needs it has access to high quality fresh food.

“We look forward to working with Hubbub and local Climate Challenge Fund projects to develop a strong Community Fridge network for Scotland. We see this as part of our work to make Scotland clean, green and sustainable.”

Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“Scotland is committed to reducing food waste and Community Fridges are a brilliantly simple way of using up quality fresh food that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s exciting to see the growing trend for Community Fridges in Scotland and we hope other communities across the country will follow suit when they see the positive impact they can make.

“It’s great to see the commitment from Pollokshields Development Agency to make the PDA Goes Green fridge a success and we particularly thank the Climate Challenge Fund for making this project possible.”

Also known as ‘Solidarity’ or ‘Honesty’ Fridges, Community Fridges have been successfully introduced in Spain, Germany and other parts of the UK. There are currently 50 Community Fridge Network fridges open across the UK, which on average each redistribute half a tonne of food per month. Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network provides free advice, resources and support to Community Fridge organisers around challenges such as legal requirements and food hygiene, as well as acting as a hub to enable communities to share experiences and learn from each other.

More information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations and advice for those interested in setting up a Community Fridge can be found here.

More information on projects supported through the Scottish Government's Climate Challenge Fund can be found here.

08 February 2019

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