New ‘community fridge’ opens in Eastbourne

A new ‘community fridge’ has launched in Eastbourne with the aim of tackling food waste and food poverty.

The fridge, located at Victoria Baptist Church in Eldon Road, opened today (Wednesday, October 13) and is available every Wednesday from 8.30am–10.30am.

As part of the initiative, the community fridge team collects surplus food that is in good condition and would otherwise go to waste.

For £2, members of the community can buy up to 10 items.

L-R: Councillor Jonathon Dow, Gabi and Skip (Langney Community Larder), Councillor John Ungar, Chris Short (Minister, Victoria Baptist Church), Debra Muston (Salvation Army, Old Town Corps), Councillor Peter Diplock, Sandra Taylor and Helen Diplock (co-founders of the fridge) SUS-211013-143640001

Every week the fridge has different stock coming in, with a selection of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, according to a spokesperson from the group that runs the fridge.

Local businesses, such as Poppyseed Bakery in Gildredge Road, also donate baked goods.

The spokesperson said, “Food waste and food poverty are big issues in the UK.

“In 2020, 8 per cent of the population was in food poverty, but data from The Food Foundation suggests food insecurity levels rose to 9 per cent of the population in January 2021. Most food waste in the UK is avoidable.”

Sandra Taylor, co-founder of the community fridge, said, “As a church, we saw an increasing need in our community, which we felt called to act on.

“Wednesday mornings at Victoria Baptist now have a wonderful community atmosphere, and it’s great to see good food being used and not wasted.”

The fridge was paid for by the church with help from a £500 donation from the Old Town councillors’ local budget.

The spokesperson said, “The fridge is a true community project, with the Old Town Salvation Army Corps volunteering their time to make it possible.”