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