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MP pays visit to area's first community fridge



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Local MP Steve Barclay recently visited the March community hub to find out more about the area's first community fridge which was set up there earlier this year.

The community fridge, which is based at the FACT headquarters in Martin Avenue, and is run by the organisation.

It is one of 100 new Co-Op funded community fridges opening this year with the environmental charity Hubbub and is expect to save 6.8 million meals a year going to waste.

From left: Steve Barclay MP, Nicola Christy, FACT Community Hub Organiser, Gary Christy, Chairman of FACT and Steve Thomas, Co-op Member Pioneer Manager. (50569872)
From left: Steve Barclay MP, Nicola Christy, FACT Community Hub Organiser, Gary Christy, Chairman of FACT and Steve Thomas, Co-op Member Pioneer Manager. (50569872)

As well as improving access to food, the fridges go beyond this by empowering communities to connect with each other, and learn new skills through activities such as cookery sessions and workshops on how to grow your own fruit and veg.

The March community fridge is open from 10am to noon every Monday and Friday and enables residents and local businesses to share surplus food for anyone to use and save quality food that would otherwise be wasted.

The group welcomes 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.

Mr Barclay said: “It was great to see our community coming together to help people develop skills such as cooking and growing their own fruit and veg, as well as reducing food waste through innovation in the form of new community fridges.

“I am hugely grateful to Gary and Nicola at FACT and Steve from the Co-Op, and their teams for all their hard work on a great initiative which will bring a practical benefit across the community.”

Nicola Christy, Community Hub Organiser at FACT, said: “Community fridges are a wonderful concept and we’re delighted to host the first for March.

“All our visitors are welcome to get involved, by giving or receiving food of by coming along to learn about our work on a new garden area."

Rebecca Birkbeck, director of community and shared value at Co-op, said: “As a co-operative, we have a responsibility to work with others to make a genuine difference. We have already made a number of interventions to create fairer access to food. However, our work with local communities has taught us that sustainable change comes from helping families and communities to help themselves and that’s why we are so delighted to support the community fridge network.

"It’s great that Steve Barclay has had the opportunity to see first-hand how the March community fridge is empowering people in March towards creating their own solutions and helping their community build resilience for the future.”



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