Community fridge opens at church to help tackle London’s ‘food waste scandal’

A charity and a church have combined to open a community fridge in a project aimed at saving thousands of tonnes of excess food which go to waste in London every year.

The Oasis Community Fridge at the Amigo Hall at St. George’s Cathedral in Westminster Bridge Road, Southwark is a partnership project between Oasis charity and the church.

The food saved from waste by the project is available to anyone in Southwark and Lambeth to collect from the Oasis Community Fridge at Amigo Hall, including those who are experiencing food insecurity.

From left, Rev Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, mayor of Southwark Micheal Situ and Archbishop John Wilson (Picture: David Clegg)

The project was officially launched on Friday by Reverend Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis, and the Archbishop of Southwark, Rev John Wilson, at Amigo Hall, St. George’s Cathedral.

Rev Chalke, Oasis founder, said: “Too many families across London are struggling to put food on the table because of the cost of living crisis. Yet at a time when some parents are having to skip meals, and huge numbers of children are going to school hungry, tonnes of excess food are being wasted by the food industry in London every year.

“I’m proud that Oasis is working in partnership with St. George’s Cathedral to open a Community Fridge to tackle the scandal of excess food, reduce our environmental footprint and, at the same time, provide food to families in Lambeth and Southwark who are struggling with food poverty.”

The community fridge uses volunteers – from the people who go to pick up food every day, to the team that sorts the bulk delivery of excess food.

Food Connect helps to organise distribution of excess food from the world famous Borough Market to the Oasis Community Fridge at St. George’s. The project also contributes to reducing Lambeth and Southwark’s carbon footprints.

Since it opened earlier this year, the community fridge at St. George’s has redistributed thousands of kilos of excess food and it is currently providing food to around 2,000 people a month.

The Archbishop of Southwark, John Wilson, said: “As Christians, we are challenged to not only have faith but also to put our faith into action through good works.

“Times are hard for many right now and that is why now, more than ever, our community needs us to step up and put our faith into action. That is why I am delighted to support the Community Fridge at our Cathedral and provide a vital lifeline for those who need it most.”

Pictured top: From left, Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis and Archbishop John Wilson open the community fridge (Picture: David Clegg)

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