Auckland community fridge in hot demand

  • 22/12/2016

Free food has been flying off the shelves of a community fridge in central Auckland, organisers say.

The project, devised to see if local residents would donate their excess food and whether those in need would actually take it, has been a roaring success, says Amanda Chapman.

"The amount of support the fridge received was overwhelming," said Ms Chapman on Tuesday in interview with the Love Food Hate Waste blog, as she looked back on the first few weeks of the project.

Food generally spent no more than a few hours in the fridge, and some items were taken within minutes of being donated, she said.

More than 1000 items passed through the fridge, located in the central city's Griffith Community Garden, during one week.

"The Community Fridge has definitely been a success," said Sarah van Boheemen, a spokeswoman for WasteMINZ, a group representing waste industries in New Zealand.

"It has helped bridge the gap by reducing food waste and distributing excess food to people in need."

New Zealand families and businesses throw out food worth more than $872 million each year, with families doing most of the tossing out, according to Love Food Hate Waste.

The community fridge movement began in Spain in 2015 and has spread to England, Belgium, Argentina and United Arab Emirates.

The Auckland community fridge will be having a break for the holiday period but Ms Chapman said she hoped to find enough volunteers to restart the project in 2017.