Food waste is a big issue in the UK... The average household throws away £810 worth of food every year. Most food waste in the UK (4.1 million tonnes) is avoidable and could have been eaten had it been better managed. Meanwhile 17.7% of children are living in poverty, although some areas of Milton Keynes show child poverty rates as high as 32% (Vital Signs Report 2020).
One solution to this problem are Community Fridges, a tried and tested solution to stop good food ending up in the bin. The fridges enable residents and businesses to share surplus quality food that would otherwise be wasted.
MK Community Fridge began as two fridges and one freezer located in the foyer of The Old Bath House Community Centre, Stratford Road, Wolverton. The project was launched on Saturday 1 July 2017 and in it's first two years has diverted more than 48 tonnes of food from the bin to the people of MK.
Over the past five years independent MK communities launched community fridges at Woughton Community Council in Coffee Hall, Netherfield Vineyard Church, The Little Bookshop Cafe in Great Linford, Conniburrow Big Local and Shenley Brook End Parish Council. If it's your first time or you are unsure of how to use the service, please ask one of the team who will be able to help you. There are now over 200 community fridges in the UK. If you would like to know where the closest one is to you click here.
In June 2020 Hubbub and The Old Bath House and Community Centre launched Food Connect, "a zero emissions service to take good food further".
Food Connect aims to redistribute food that is perfectly good to eat but would otherwise go to waste. The project is using two e-cargo bikes and an e-van to trial the zero-emissions service in Milton Keynes and help MK's Network of community fridges to share even more good food. Food Connect and our network of community fridges are currently sharing over 3 tons of surplus food a week to the residents of Milton Keynes.
‘This project is not just about reducing food waste, it’s an opportunity to gather as a community, share our experiences, skills and valuable resources that might otherwise be wasted.’ Helen Innes – Project Co-ordinator
In 2021 Hubbub and Food Connect was awarded a Bronze Global Good Award for their efforts to respond to the demands of the covid crisis. Congratulations to everyone involved.