NDCSA, the community association and charity that operate Bloomfield House Community Centre intend to establish Wales’ first permanent Community Fridge and Larder. The association are seeking funding to employ a part time Project Coordinator to steer the project for 2 years. Community Fridges are a great way of stopping good food ending up in the bin. They’re housed in public, accessible places, making surplus perishable food freely available to members of the public. Surplus food is provided by local businesses or members of the public and is then available to members of the community. They work on an honesty basis. The association intend to employ a part time Coordinator to engage volunteers, establish the project at Bloomfield and introduce the community fridge concept to Pembrokeshire. The Coordinator will also be tasked with creating awareness raising events at Bloomfield using some of the donated items from the community fridge and setting up a social media network
The project aimed to change people’s attitudes to food waste and destigmatise surplus food use.
As well as welcoming people into the centre, the Bloomfield bus was utilised to collect and distribute items, with a significant total amount of surplus food redistributed to the local community. Examples of donated produce include milk, yogurt, cheese, fresh flowers, tomatoes, potatoes and bread. Community Fridge suppliers include, Calon Wen, Co-op, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl with 27 registered project volunteers.
The Project explored new methods of providing local services including recording podcasts and sharing videos. To ease access and raise awareness the fridge was fitted with a webcam that was linked to social media alerts. There is significant evidence of effective partnership working and community engagement through awareness events and planned visits. The Community Fridge is still active with the Coordinator now employed as the Development Worker.
“The project aims to promote trust and sharing, encouraging visitors to take what they will use in the next day or two, leaving enough to be shared with others in the community."
The Project reported difficulties and delays with the webcam instillation and the project timeline was longer than originally planned. There was also challenges in encouraging retailers to drop off donations instead of relying on volunteers to collect.
Arwain Sir Benfro and the LEADER Programme concluded in December 2021 once all projects were completed and funding exhausted. There is now no dedicated support upon the completion of the LEADER Programme in Pembrokeshire. Should you have any queries, PLANED as the previous administrators, may be able to assist, or similarly for wider questions on the LEADER Programme in Wales, please contact the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).