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27th April 2021
A community fridge has opened its doors in the Dorchester Coop. The fridge, named CasterFridge, aims to reduce the amount of edible food waste that is thrown away by shops and cafes, and instead donates it to the community. Anyone can go along and help themselves, there is no membership or eligibility involved, its open to everyone in our community.
CasterFridge was opened on the 20th of April by the Mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Richard Biggs. Councillor Biggs stated, “CasterFridge allows for Dorchester to do its part in the war against waste. This food donated by shops to the community will be a stepping-stone to reducing the amount of good food being thrown away. This is a project for our entire community; anyone can come and help themselves and have a chat with one of the friendly volunteers. Volunteer Centre Dorset who have set up this project, are passionate about our community and its residents, and hope that CasterFridge will help Dorchester come together as we come out of a difficult year.”
CasterFridge has been open on three separate mornings, already rescuing a total of 40kg of food from landfill and have had over 100 guests visit the fridge.
CasterFridge is run by a local charity; Volunteer Centre Dorset. The project coordinator from the Volunteer Centre, Issy McGowan said: “CasterFridge has so much potential to help both the environment and the people of Dorchester. So much good food is needlessly thrown away, and we want to stop as much of it as possible from going in the bin. We know that this year has been particularly challenging for a lot of people and we hope that by offering free food and a friendly chat, we can bring a sense of community support to Dorchester.”
The community fridge is based in the entrance to the Coop and will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 10:00-12:00. Issy added “The Coop is an ideal location, it’s close to the bus stops and right in the heart of the town. The staff there have been so welcoming, and we look forward to working with them.”
“We have already had such an overwhelmingly positive response from the public. We have had people from all ages and all walks of life come to the fridge and help themselves to a huge variety of food. One guest took a pastry on our first day of opening and came back another day to offer their thanks. It had made their day having a treat with their morning coffee, all the while knowing they were helping the environment!”
“So far, we have had over 180 items of food donated including bread, pastries, salad, vegetables, yoghurt, fruit, and herbs, all of which has been taken by visitors to the fridge. We haven’t had to throw anything away, which at the end of the day is exactly what we want to achieve.”
To find out more about the Community Fridge, contact Issy McGowan at Volunteer Centre Dorset on 01305 269214 or email [email protected]