Food waste is a pressing issue in New Zealand. Council initiative Love Food Hate Waste states that, on average, the nation throws away 122,547 tonnes of food a year, an amount equivalent to the weight of 213 jumbo jets, and with a price tag of around $872 million.
As a way to alleviate food wastage, zero waste blogger Amanda Chapman and a skip's worth of community waste advocates have launched a fridge offering free food to those in need. Inspired by solidarity fridges found in Germany, Auckland's new Community Fridge allows businesses and individuals to leave excess food in the fridge for anyone to take.
The rules of the fridge are simple — take what you need and leave what you don't. Individuals can share their excess garden produce, tinned or dried goods, while commercial bakeries and cafés are being encouraged to donate any unsold bread, sandwiches and baked items which would normally be thrown away.
The fridge will be open 24 hours a day to allow people to access food at any time. There are no conditions around taking the food, anybody can help themselves. A group of volunteers will be checking the fridge twice a day to make sure that all food is safe to eat.