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What is a community fridge?

Every year, 100,000 tonnes of edible food is thrown away by the UK’s retail and food manufacturing sector. This is equivalent to 250 million meals going uneaten every year. Instead, this food ends up in animal feed, used for anaerobic digestion, or going to landfill, with devastating environmental consequences.

Enter the community fridge! A community fridge allows this edible food to be donated to the community rather than being thrown away. All the food donated is within the use by date, and in the correct packaging, so it’s all perfectly edible.

The fridge is free for anyone in the community to use and help themselves to whatever they fancy.

So I can take whatever I want?

Pretty much—Yes! Please remember that this food is to be shared with our whole community and so be mindful about the amount you are taking. If you need more food because you are struggling financially, pick up one of our leaflets on useful community contacts.

What are the benefits?

CasterFridge can offer a huge number of benefits to the community and the planet. By reducing the amount of food going to landfill, not to mention the packaging that it all comes in, Dorchester as a community will be doing its bit to help the environment.

By showing people how easy it can be to reduce food waste, we hope it will encourage others to think a bit more about edible food they throw away. An average family of four will waste about £750s worth of food a year, so we will offer information and recipes to encourage people to use up their supplies or make the most of their freezer.

The fridge is for absolutely anyone, so no eligibility, no benefits checks, and no membership.

We have information available to signpost people to support services in the community, such as food banks, Citizens Advice, You Trust, and other community food schemes. 

There are volunteering opportunities in the community. There are no specific skills needed for this volunteering role, just some enthusiasm! The fridge location is easily accessible for people with disabilities, and we create a supportive and welcome environment for all to get involved.

CasterFridge is enhancing our sense of community. Its success relies on kindness, generosity, and respect, and the past few years have shown that these are in abundance in Dorset.

What happens to food that isn't used?

We hope that the food will get used up, but any food that does have to be thrown away will be composted and the packaging recycled. Everything we use here at the fridge is environmentally friendly, even our storage boxes are made from recycled household plastic waste!

Can I donate food to CasterFridge?

Sadly, we cannot accept donations from individuals. However, inside the Coop there is a box where you can put donations to the food bank, so perhaps think about buying an extra packet of something and popping it in there. If you own a local food business and would like to donate, contact Megan at the Volunteer Centre on 01305 269214 or email [email protected]

I want to help; can I volunteer for CasterFridge?

Absolutely! There are a lot of things you can get involved in, from manning the fridge, meeting, and greeting, or collecting food and stocking the fridge. Contact Megan at Volunteer Centre Dorset on 01305 269214 or email [email protected] to find out more or register using this link.

When is the fridge open?

Casterfridge runs on the following days from 9:30am:

  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday


CasterFridge is proudly supported by





Recent Projects and Event Opportunities

Volunteer Centre Dorset are thankful for the support from:

Dorset County Council
National Lottery Fund