Blog­ger starts zero waste fridge in CBD

Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - ELESHA EDMONDS

Or­gan­is­ers of a com­mu­nity fridge in the mid­dle of Auck­land’s CBD have gone above and be­yond to en­sure free food on of­fer meets health safety stan­dards.

On Wed­nes­day a com­mu­nity fridge was in­stalled in the new pop-up Grif­fith Gar­dens on the busy cor­ner of May­oral Drive and Welles­ley St West

Busi­nesses and the pub­lic are be­ing en­cour­aged to leave ed­i­ble food which would oth­er­wise go to waste - and any­one is wel­come to grab a bite to eat.

Zero waste blog­ger Amanda Chap­man, 25, is the brains be­hind the com­mu­nity fridge which in­volves a team of vol­un­teers and a rig­or­ous food safety plan.

The One­hunga res­i­dent said its pur­pose was to en­sure ed­i­ble food did not go to waste and that the hun­gry were fed in the process. The fridge will op­er­ated un­til De­cem­ber 23.

Chap­man said the fridge was checked twice a day by vol­un­teers who read and sign a ‘‘very big ori­en­ta­tion pack’’.

They check the tem­per­a­ture and dates on the food - mak­ing sure it is safe to eat.

Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries’ food and bev­er­age man­ager Sally John­ston said the or­gan- is­ers of the fridge had gone above the food safety re­quire­ments around do­nated food.

John­ston said she was sure the vol­un­teers would no­tice if ‘‘there were any nig­gly trust is­sues’’ around peo­ple’s in­ten­tions.

‘‘In New Zealand we have a high level of trust as this kind of move­ment may not work in other coun­tries,’’ she said.

‘‘A lot of care and lim­i­ta­tions are in place and they all op­er­ate off that level.’’

Chap­man hopes the ini­tia­tive will en­cour­age Auck­lan­ders to give un­wanted food a new lease of life. New Zealand fam­i­lies throw away $872 mil­lion worth of food every year while cafes, restau­rants and su­per­mar­kets throw away mil­lions of dol­lars of food every year.

In­spired by com­mu­nity fridges in Europe, Chap­man pitched her idea to Auck­land Coun­cil’s Love Food Hate Waste team, who of­fered to fund the project.

Chap­man said the fridge was open 24 hours which al­lowed peo­ple to drop off or ac­cess the food at all hours.

Etched on the fridge is one sim­ple rule: take what you need and leave what you don’t. In­di­vid­u­als are in­vited to share ex­cess gar­den pro­duce, tinned or dried goods.

ELESHA EDMONDS/FAIRFAX NZ

Blog­ger Amanda Chap­man is the brains be­hind a new com­mu­nity fridge in Auck­land’s CBD.

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