There is also a list of food suppliers keen to support, charities and organisations like FareShare, and other local retailers that have a surplus supply of food that would otherwise be thrown away - By making this food available to everyone we play our part to stop this waste.
The food on offer is fresh, free and local-sourced.
In the future, we'd love the Fridge of Free Stuff to play an even bigger part in the community. We hope to set up recipe exchanges, a climate change information hub and work with food clubs that are being set up alongside the fridge.
Join us! We have a team of volunteers who assist with the running of the community fridge. If you have some free time, enjoy meeting new people and want to play a part in the fight against climate change, please apply with this link: http://bttr.im/zin8t
Since Weston-super-Mare's community fridge opened, the volunteers have heard very positive feedback from customers who have shared:
I have only spent £2.44 on shopping since youopened; you have provided everything else
I look forward to coming around to see what you have available on the day
You make me use my brain about how I can use the
food on offer
If it weren’t for you, I would never eat any fresh
vegetables and fruit
Hub Zero Event Space
The Fridge of Free Stuff moved to a bigger space at The Sovereign in March 2023. The extra room is being used for ‘Hub Zero’ - a space to hold climate and sustainability-themed events, workshops and projects.
The space is also open for climate and environmental groups across Weston to use.
As part of Weston-super-Mare Town Council's climate commitments, made after announcing a climate emergency in 2019, fortnightly educational talks and workshops will be programmed on Saturday mornings at 10.00am.
Hosted by local community and climate change experts, some of these talks will be filmed for broadcast on the Town Council's social media and website, as well as the Fridge of Free Stuff Facebook page.
In addition to these talks the space is open for community meetings and workshops based around the climate crisis, low-carbon diets and sustainability in an effort to empower the community to develop local solutions to making the transition to net zero and a climate-resilient way of living.
Through analysis carried out by Frome Town Council in 2019, for their community fridge, the potential impact is clear:
The average community fridge redistributes around 500 kg of food per month, which equates to about 2.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions. The busiest fridges see around 4 tonnes of food passing through each month which equates to a saving of almost 17 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions.
Over a year the average fridge will have avoided over 25 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – meaning that across the UK network of community fridges an estimated total of 1,625 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions are avoided.
Food waste is generally overlooked as a big environmental issue yet it is responsible for 8-10% of the total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally.
When food waste is disposed of it breaks down to release a gas that is around 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. Globally this contributes up to 70 million tonnes of methane each year – more than from coal mining and natural gas leaks combined, and almost as much as is emitted by farm animals.
Up to 35% of food in high-income economies is thrown away by consumers.
In the UK we waste 5 million tonnes of edible food every year.
By making this food available to everyone we play our part to stop this waste. And if you’ve had a tough week on your purse strings, it also lightens the load. You might see a pineapple going for grabs, and think ‘I haven’t had a pineapple in ages’ pop it under your arm and that one thing can make a whole day.
Since our first trial opening in November 2021, the Fridge of Free Stuff has so far saved 71.9 tonnes of C02e, the equivalent of 117,375 meals.
A. The Fridge of Free Stuff is part of a wider Community Fridge network across the UK. First trialled in 2016, there are now hundreds of fridges helping thousands of people to connect, access nutritious food, save money and reduce waste to combat climate change.
Q. How does it work?
A. We are a volunteer-run store providing food free of charge which otherwise would likely end up in landfill. Throughout the week, our volunteers travel around Weston-super-Mare to collect surplus food - mostly from supermarkets and local businesses. The food is then weighed and sorted before being displayed in the Fridge for the public.
We are also able to take surplus donations from allotments and households, for more information on what we can accept, click here.
Q. Who is the fridge for?
A. Anyone! The aim of a community fridge is to reduce food waste and redirect surplus food from landfill. Like all other fridges across the network, The Fridge of Free Stuff is open to all, and we encourage everyone to come in and play their part.
Q. Is it like a food bank, do I need a voucher?
A. Community fridges are very different to food banks. The aim is to reduce food waste, so it is surplus food, rather than donations that we collect. We love that we are able to help those in need by providing a way to save money on food, but there is no referral or voucher necessary to use the fridge.
Q. Who runs the Fridge?
A.The fridge has been made available by Weston-super-Mare Town Council and their partners, but is entirely run by volunteers with a passion for reducing food waste and combatting climate change.
Q. Can I drop-off food items from home?
A.Although the majority of food we receive is from supermarkets, we are able to accept donations from allotments and households too! However, we do ask that all packaged food is in good condition and within 2 days of its use by date.
We can accept homegrown produce, but you will be required to fill out a small form to confirm it's fresh and grown naturally without any nasty pesticides/fertilisers. We cant accept any windfall fruit, frozen or cooked food.
For more information on what we can accept, click here.
Q. Do you accept donations?
A. To continue operating, the fridge relies on grantfunding and public donations.