What is the mission of Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
Our mission is to save as much food from being wasted in the UK as we can and to help those struggling to put food on the table
Have there been any inspiring actions by the community in Dorking?
I see inspiring actions every day in Dorking, from volunteers collecting food, packing food parcels and organising our Community Fridge sites to the drivers dropping food parcels at doorsteps (we are still packing and delivering over 400 parcels a week) and the drivers collecting the 10 tonnes of food we are saving from being wasted every week! All with smiling faces and stories of how the projects have helped them with their mental health during the Covid-19 crisis.
In fact, instead of the doom and gloom that the media would give us, what I see every day is selflessness, love and caring.
How can the community of Dorking aid Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
The community has been fantastic during lockdown, springing into action with volunteering and fundraising events. Many of our volunteers have returned to work, so if anyone can spare an hour or two a week to help pack or drive the van, please contact us.
How do you see the future for Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
We are now five times bigger than before lockdown and we want to keep the momentum going which means we are adapting to our new size. We are about to sign up for a unit in Dorking where we can have a warehouse, a training kitchen to teach cookery and other skills an office and an Affordable Food Shop. These are projects that we always had on the horizon and we are now able to make our dreams reality!
What is something you would like the people of Dorking to know?
That the food is available to anyone!
All our food is disappearing within an hour of being put out which says to us that there is a great need at the moment, BUT we don’t want to have to bin anything so please come along and take it!
What would surprise someone about Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
That we are a Community Interest Company 122 strong, we are helping around 8000 people a week and we pay just one salary between three people.
How has COVID-19 affected Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
We are five times bigger now! We have seen how many people in this area need support at the moment, and many of them needed support well before the pandemic. We are working to give immediate help, but also to enable people to cook and provide cheap, nutritious meals for themselves.
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks to everyone who has donated time and money to what we are doing. We are so grateful. And I am so grateful to everyone on the team who all work so hard to make all this happen; we couldn’t do it without them all!
FREE SCHOOL MEALS WITH DORKING WANDERERS
Q1: How are you helping with the free school meals by Dorking Wanderers?
Dorking Wanderers stepped up at the beginning of Lockdown and paid for essential items for our food parcels, such as eggs, milk, toilet roll and flour (Dorking Butchery also donated ham). They used their suppliers to get hold of stuff that was not in the shops! They continued to support us for 4 months which was amazing. John Pettet (DW Kitchen Manager) rang me just before half term to ask me if we could distribute lunch bags for children who qualify for Free School Meals. As we have very close community links, it was our pleasure to help and we ended up giving out 250 bags last week!
Q2: What made you want to help?
We know how many people are suffering Food Poverty at the moment. There are many children in “affluent’ Surrey who simply don’t have enough to eat. If you have teenagers, you will know the quantities of food they require and there are many families out there who are struggling to provide that amount of food. We are passionate about diverting food from landfill and we are passionate about helping people who are struggling right now. We plan to have a training kitchen where we will make food, run cookery courses and other inspiring courses that the community wants. We want people to be empowered and to be able cook healthy, low budget food.
Q3: Is the food in the lunchboxes from Mid Surrey Community Fridges?
No, but we opened our Harvest café (On the Goodwyns Estate – and one of our Fridge hubs) every morning for school children to have porridge, bacon rolls and cereal. Most of that food comes from the Fridge and would otherwise be wasted. And we did add some Easter Bunnies!
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