The Witney Fridge – Witney Food Revolution

With climate change an ever-increasing concern for all of us, a local initiative addressing it is much appreciated. I discovered Witney Food Revolution in 2020, after seeing an advertisement on Facebook. Since I’ve started volunteering for the initiative, I’ve come to realise how much hard work and dedication has gone into creating this amazing project.

Food wastage is a big contributor to climate change, with an estimated one third of the world’s food being wasted each year (that’s a lot of meals!). Located in Witney town centre, Witney Food Revolution aims to reduce this shocking figure by working with local businesses, charities and supermarkets to collect (perfectly good) food that would have otherwise been thrown away, redistributing it to the public. Throughout the pandemic, it has seen significant growth, having graduated from battling all weathers in outside gazebos to now occupying a permanent space at the Methodist Church’s Amos Room.

Essentially, you can pick up free food, whilst also doing your bit to save the planet. Despite common misconceptions, everybody is welcome. Recently we teamed up with SOFEA, a charity supporting disadvantaged young people, whilst addressing the issues of local food poverty and food surpluses, and established a Community Larder alongside the Fridge. This is a membership scheme and just means that you can access a wider range of food items at a weekly hub. We are also planning to partner with companies to provide discounts, and put on some meet-ups/tasting sessions for members. Whilst the produce at the Fridge is free, membership for the Larder costs £3.50 per individual per week and allows you to access more produce – 20 non-perishables, plus as much fruit and veg as you think you will use.

This recent addition of the Larder membership has not taken away from the work of the Fridge, with produce still on offer to anybody (no discrimination, no questions) during opening hours. All food supplied is within its best before date, and is perfectly good to use. In the last year, the team have collected approximately 50 tonnes of surplus food from local businesses and supermarkets, saving it from landfill. Our aim is to make Witney and the surrounding area a more sustainable place and create a real sense of community that I’m sure we could all benefit from.

The simplest way you can help is by signing up to the Larder (or using the Fridge) and making it part of your weekly shopping routine. You can also get involved by volunteering, donating food, contributing to their community blog, and by spreading the word! Any questions? Then please email the team at info@witneyfoodrevolution or message us on one of our social media platforms– we would be more than happy to hear from you.

Alice Williamson

August-September 2021