Thurso’s Community Fridge project is receiving the backing of Labour MSP Rhoda Grant who says it’s a ‘cracking’ community scheme.
Mrs Grant, who represents the Highlands and Islands, found out more about the project from Joan Lawrie, of Thurso’s Community Development Trust, when she was in Caithness last week.
The scheme aims to set up a communal fridge in Thurso town centre, open from 8am to 8pm, and available for anyone to take what they need from it.
“This is a great idea which will not only tackle food waste but will also tackle food poverty in the area,” said Mrs Grant.
“Everyone be able to look in and see what’s available in the fridge and take their pick, but it will definitely fill the gap for people who find themselves short of food at a certain time.
“For instance, many families may find the pinch near to pay day or are between jobs and needing a helping hand for a few meals. Also, keen growers may have surpluses from their own gardens at certain times of year and would only be too pleased to donate produce to the fridge.
“I’m a real supporter of this ‘sharing and caring’ initiative and congratulate all the volunteers behind it. I hope to see the result when it is launched later this year.”
Mrs Grant ask to meet Ms Lawrie who explained the thinking behind the project which is also being backed by local supermarkets and smaller food businesses.
The Fridge will fulfil food hygiene regulations with a band of volunteers to run it. When it comes to food waste, the group plans to record how much food is being saved from going to the landfill site. Volunteers also stress that it is in no way stepping on the toes of the Food Bank which does sterling work in Caithness.
Ms Lawrie, a project officer for the trust said: “Since learning about the Community Fridge Network and hearing that 32 Communities across the UK have been able to establish a Community Fridge we have really wanted to bring this to Thurso.
“Not only will the fridge combat food waste and educate regarding waste in our community it will also help those most in need without anyone feeling stigmatised. We’re currently running a Crowdfunder to help with the costs of establishing the fridge which is only £110 away from target. ”
• The organisation is looking for donations for the project at: