DEVON now has 25 community fridges, including one in Ashburton, and they help ensure that surplus food finds a home quickly – they are open to all and make good food available for free.And following this success Recycle Devon, a partnership of Devon County Council, eight district authorities and Torbay Council, has now launched a new community map on its  website to show your nearest fridge.

The principal reason why the Community fridges were set up was to reduce the carbon footprint left by food production and transportation.

Although each fridge is run slightly differently, it is estimated that collectively they redistribute more than 150 tonnes of surplus food, worth, almost £500,000 each year.

By making sure that this food gets eaten and doesn’t go to waste, these projects are ensuring that the embedded carbon in the food – from the energy, water and fertilizers that went into producing it – gets put to good use.

And none of this redistribution would have been possible without the strength of the community sector in Devon.

The community fridge initiative has really taken off thanks to teams of dedicated volunteers across the county who collect food, primarily from businesses, and keep the fridges running safely.

From just a few locations in 2019, there are now more than two dozen, with more on the way.

Maresa Bossano, who runs St Thomas Library Community Fridge in Exeter, said: 'Food going to waste is a large contributor to climate change so by using the Community Fridge we all get to play our part in helping the environment.'

Emma Croft, who runs the National Lottery funded ‘Food Rescue’ project in Devon and two community fridges as part of that.

She said: 'Community fridges are a visible sign of people caring for each other and the environment within their community with the idea of sharing food with others being something that can bring people together.'

► Food Rescue’ project supports the development of Community Fridges across Devon and still has capacity to develop more Community Fridges over the next 6-8 months so get in touch soon if there are people in your local area who might be interested in setting one up - contact: 07966 566435 or email: [email protected]