Meet the Oxmoor Community Fridge team helping to redistribute food
- Credit: Hunts Post
The Oxmoor Community Fridge, which helps provide food to those in need and save food waste, is struggling to keep up with demand as the national cost of living continues to grow.
The Huntingdonshire Community Group Covid-19 Response Team set up the Community Fridge last year to meet the huge demand for food support in the community during the pandemic.
Food from supermarkets and donations is redistributed from Thongsley Fields Primary and Nursery School every Tuesday, but more donations are needed.
The group's founder Patrick Kadewere said: "With additional pressures on finances following the ending of the Universal Credit uplift, rises in Council Tax and National Insurance as well as the enormous pressure of the recent rise in utility prices, we are seeing a large rise in demand for our services and often have to close early as demand is outweighing our donations at present."
The group supports, on average, 40-45 residents per 1.5-hour session and has just reached a milestone of 10,000 kilograms of redistributed food one year after they launched.
The Huntingdonshire Community group has also launched a number of other services to combat the financial impact of the pandemic and alleviate some of the pressure on families and the Community Fridge.
This includes the Huntingdon Hygiene Bank, Oxmoor Job Club, Huntingdon School Uniform Recycling Project, and free activities for children every school holiday.
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Patrick said: "Having a range of professions and skills within our volunteer team means we have a wealth of knowledge to support residents with a range of advice and the ability to refer them to our other partner agencies when they need further support beyond our services."
The Community Fridge is open to all and is a free to use collection based service but can deliver to vulnerable residents when requested.
The project has even acted as a lifeline to more isolated residents who often come in for a chat with the volunteers.
On April 12, the volunteers helped give out Easter packs for children, including a chocolate Easter egg and colouring pads for children to enjoy over the break and have fun with.
To maintain the level of service required to meet the growing demand, the Community Fridge team will need continued support in the form of donations to continue acting as the lifeline residents so readily need.