COMMUNITIES are being urged to unite in the fight against food waste and take action by donating to causes tackling food poverty.
Dorset charities, including Soul Food in Weymouth and Waste Not Want Not in Poole, are urgently seeking funds to help them buy fridges.
The ‘Fund A Fridge’ campaign is part of a wider national fundraising campaign being run in partnership with Neighbourly, an award-winning social platform that connects charities with people and companies.
Fund a Fridge aims to help food charities across the UK buy a new fridge, unlocking access to a potential 270,000 tonnes of surplus food – the equivalent of up to 360 million meals for those in need.
The campaign was launched following a survey charities conducted by Neighbourly which identified that up to one-third of all food charities struggle to make a bigger impact due to lack of refrigerators or freezers needed to accept and store chilled items.
The campaign needs to raise £15,000 to buy 50 fridges for charities up and down the country, including two in Dorset. The charities will receive money to buy a new fridge/freezer or to be connected with a local team offering a refurbished one.
Steve Haine, head of community at Neighbourly, said: "Neighbourly is already working with major UK retailers who currently redistribute more than 545 tonnes of surplus food – the equivalent of 770,000 meals.
“But in order to help the UK to reach its goal of reducing food waste, we all need to play our part by investing in the charities that help redistribute surplus food.”
Research conducted by WRAP has shown that 47,000 tonnes of food surplus – the equivalent of 90 million meals a year – is being redistributed to feed people, but an additional 270kt more food surplus could also be suitable for redistribution if it weren’t for a lack of refrigeration.
The Food Foundation, who worked with Neighbourly to conduct the survey, expressed how there are "significant gaps in capacity" including transport, volunteers at key times of the year, storage and refrigeration, that are "holding community causes back" from helping more people.
Angie Barnes from Soul Food said the charity is currently supporting around 20 people a week.
She expressed her gratitude for donations received over the Christmas period but agreed that a new fridge/freezer would make the world of difference.
In order to make a donation to a local charity of your choice, visit neighbourly.com/fundafridge
Charities and community causes in need of a fridge can join the campaign by emailing email@example.com