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'It's less about need than sharing quality food' - Community fridge opens in town

PUBLISHED: 15:23 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:17 20 September 2019

From L-R. Kate Haselton-Glee from North Norfolk District Council, Community Fridge founder Jamie-Lee Knighton, town crier Roger Hopkinson and North Norfolk District councillor Nigel Lloyd at the launch of the  community fridge. Picture: Neil Didsbury

From L-R. Kate Haselton-Glee from North Norfolk District Council, Community Fridge founder Jamie-Lee Knighton, town crier Roger Hopkinson and North Norfolk District councillor Nigel Lloyd at the launch of the community fridge. Picture: Neil Didsbury

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An initiative to cut food waste by sharing surplus food has been welcomed in a north Norfolk town.

Time to stop wasting food. The new community fridge is based inside Cafe Kitale in North Walsham. Picture: Neil DidsburyTime to stop wasting food. The new community fridge is based inside Cafe Kitale in North Walsham. Picture: Neil Didsbury

A community fridge, where businesses and individuals share food with other people, has opened within Café Kitale in St Nicholas Road, North Walsham.

And to celebrate the launch there was a special stall at the town's market on Thursday, September 19.

The fridge will be open from 10am to 2pm on weekdays, and organisers hope it will repeat the success of the community fridge in Fakenham.

Jamie-Lee Knighton, founder of the town's community fridge, was previously homeless. She said: "As much as food banks do an amazing job, it's hard for a homeless person to open a tin of baked beans if they don't have a tin opener or somewhere to eat it.

Cafe Kitale owner, Rob Scammell thinks the new community fridge in North Walsham is a great idea to reduce food waste. Picture: Neil DidsburyCafe Kitale owner, Rob Scammell thinks the new community fridge in North Walsham is a great idea to reduce food waste. Picture: Neil Didsbury

"The community fridge is an amazing idea. There's 15m tonnes of food waste a year in the UK, which is ridiculous. There are so many people who could benefit from it, and it stops it going to landfill."

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Nigel Lloyd, North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) portfolio holder for environment, said: "Food waste is a huge problem in the UK. As a council we support waste reduction initiatives, and this is part of that.

"We are working with retailers to minimise their waste. Our volunteers have been trained in food hygiene, and the community fridge will have a food hygiene rating as well. We are looking for more volunteers."

Natasha Williams, owner of Christopher's in North Walsham, will be donating any surplus bread to the new Community Fridge. Picture: Neil DidsburyNatasha Williams, owner of Christopher's in North Walsham, will be donating any surplus bread to the new Community Fridge. Picture: Neil Didsbury

NNDC is calling all food businesses/allotment holders in North Walsham and surrounding areas to donate surplus packaged food.

Businessman Rob Scammell, who owns Cafe Kitale, said: "I think it's great for the town.

"It's not the same as a food bank. No-one is being judged on taking what they want. It's less about need than sharing quality food that would go to waste otherwise."

The town's first community fridge was launched with the aid of environmental charity Hubbub UK.

Candice Pardon, manager of Bocadillo in North Walsham, will be donating any surplus food to the new Community Fridge. Picture: Neil DidsburyCandice Pardon, manager of Bocadillo in North Walsham, will be donating any surplus food to the new Community Fridge. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Some businesses in the town have already promised to help, with Bocadillo's in the Market Place agreeing to donate food, and Christopher's Cafe and Bakery in Church Street, leftover bread.

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