Wallingford: Community Fridge overflowing with produce

(Published on 27/03/2019)

Wallingford Community Fridge has been overflowing with produce since its launch in December last year.

Located at The Fountain Charity Bookshop in St Mary’s Street, the fridge is stacked full of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread donated by local shops and supermarkets.

People in need are then free to browse through its contents and take whatever they wish to supplement their meals for free. It already attracts up to 20 visitors a day.

The purchase of the fridge was made possible thanks to a £500 grant from Cllr Lynda Atkins from the Councillor Priority Fund.

The project was set up by Tracey Lloyd-Jones, assistant manager at The Fountain.

She explained: “My husband and I saw a TV programme. They did a five-minute snippet showing a community fridge in Southend and thought we could do this in Wallingford from the bookshop.

“It has gone better than I thought. Last week I couldn’t keep the fridge full. The shops and supermarkets have been very supportive and let me know when I can go out and collect donations.”

Tracey is supported by Rachel Eccles, from the Ridgeway Community Church, and other volunteers. Food donations have come from the town’s Lidl and Waitrose stores, plus Marks and Spencer in Didcot.

“We’ve got a local shop that’s just opened called The Cookhouse Deli and the chap from there gave us some bread the other day.

“It’s reaching out to all of our community and the bonus is that it’s helping people who are most in need.”

Cllr Atkins was delighted to see the community fridge working so well.

She said: “It has a number of advantages. It reduces food waste by cutting what’s going to landfill and also provides a source of fresh food to people who may be in more need.

“The team here were willing to host it so the fact that I was able to provide the funding through the Councillor Priority Fund to set it up was fantastic.

“It supplements the work being done by the town’s Emergency Food Bank and really is a win-win.”

The Wallingford Community Fridge is open Tuesday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.30pm, and Saturday from 9.30am – 1pm.