The Rise of Social Fridges

Posted by easy2access
Category:
social fridges
Image Source – www.thisbigcity.net

A fridge is just a fridge…not quite! Social fridges are providing food and dignity to citizens in countries battling high inflation and job cuts. Thanks to the generosity of local restaurants, communities, and charity organisations, the needy can help themselves to free food placed in outdoor fridges.  Read more about this amazing social fridge phenomenon…

How did the rise of social fridges begin?

The European debt crisis which affected many European countries such as Spain and Greece resulted in many citizens battling to put food on the table.  This hard reality sparked a generous and creative food scheme where restaurants, supermarkets, and households began placing unwanted or leftover food in outdoor fridges – providing much needed meals to the poor! The news of social or ‘solidarity’ fridges has since spread like wildfire, trending in other countries also facing hard financial times – Saudi Arabia, Argentina and India, to name but a few.

Hunger and food wastage

The number of people facing hunger in South Africa is roughly 13 million according to Oxfam, and even more frightening is this article estimating that a third of all food produced in the country is simply wasted! That’s a cost of roughly R60-billion per year or 2% of South Africa’s GDP.  With unemployment, job losses and inflation affecting our country, not to mention our environment being adversely affected by rotting food in landfill sites, the question is will the trend of social fridges reach our shores and could this type of food scheme actually work here?

A social fridge at every store?

Many generous NPOs and corporates are making a difference to poor communities by becoming involved in various food schemes – some collecting surplus foods from manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers to distribute to those in need, and others relying on donations for food parcels. Imagine if successful supermarkets or restaurants invested in social fridges and stocked them daily with leftover store food. How about a secured, communal fridge being placed outside a shopping centre, library, or local municipality where community members could drop off unused vegetables, cooked foods, or leftover sandwiches? Refrigeration would keep the food fresh for a day or two – making a real difference to the poor and hungry, curbing unnecessary food wastage and minimising the effects on the environment. We think it’s a great social initiative! Your thoughts?

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