Lancaster University’s fridge initiative aims to help tackle poverty

Sam Western, Sam Allan and Chris Brown with the community fridge.
Sam Western, Sam Allan and Chris Brown with the community fridge.
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An initiative aimed at helping those struggling to afford enough food for their families has been launched at Lancaster University.

It is hoped the ‘community fridge’ idea will also tackle the problem of food waste.

The fridge has been placed in Bowland College on the university campus, and is available for anyone to use to donate food which would otherwise go to waste.

Anyone in need of help is welcome to access the food.

The initiative was set up by a group of Bowland College students as part of an entry into a university challenge contest. It is thought to be the first to be set up on a university campus in the country.

Joe Bourne, student engagement manager at Lancaster University, said: “Students at Lancaster University Students’ Union are helping to tackle food waste with an innovative ‘Community Fridge’ – the first university project of its kind in the country. The fridge can be used by anyone who wishes to donate food that would otherwise go to waste.

“Bowland students Sam Allan, Duncan Chapman, Chris Brown, Sam Western and Xeina Aveyard proposed the project, based on a similar scheme in Chris’s home town of Frome, as their entry in last term’s College Sustainability Challenge, in which they were runners-up.”

Sam said: “We are very proud to have launched the first community fridge at a UK university, and to contribute to sustainability at Lancaster.

“Hopefully the fridge will be the catalyst for further student led food waste action projects here at Lancaster.

“We are immensely grateful to all contributors. A team of student volunteers will check the quality of donations and keep the fridge clean and tidy.

“If the Bowland College pilot is successful the project may be spread to other sites on campus.”

* See Anna Clayton’s column on page 44 for full details about the initiative