Banbury community fridge project to reduce food waste and feed families

Imam Wazir Ahmed and Yasmin Kaduji with the Banbury Community Fridge at Banbury Madni Masjid. NNL-181023-154350009
Imam Wazir Ahmed and Yasmin Kaduji with the Banbury Community Fridge at Banbury Madni Masjid. NNL-181023-154350009

The Muslim community in Banbury is inviting people to the launch of a new initiative that aims to feed families and reduce food waste.

Banbury Community Fridge at the Merton Street mosque will throw open its doors to the public for its grand opening on Tuesday (November 6).

Yasmin Kaduji, from the mosque, said the fridge will differ from the foodbank as it will be for everyone regardless of wealth and is chiefly to stop perfectly-good food being thrown away.

“Despite a growing awareness of food waste, we identified very limited options for those wanting to share surplus food in Banbury,” she said.

“We hope this will be the solution we need.”

Following the success of similar projects nationally, the fridge is the first of its kind to open in Banbury and will provide a facility for the community to access food supplies that would otherwise go to waste.

Residents, primarily those in need but not exclusively, can collect provisions such as pastries, bread, fruit, spices and vegetables nearing their sell by date for free thanks to funding from Hello Fresh and support from Sanctuary Housing.

Supermarkets including Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose, as well as Hello Fresh are among those who have redistributed produce to the fridge so far.

More food suppliers are urged to get in touch if they can help.

The fridge will be in the mosque car park which allows people to drive there and easily see what is available, with quick turnarounds expected.

According to research, the average UK family wastes £810 a year by throwing away food and drink, and £3bn is wasted by the sector as a whole.

Sanctuary neighbourhood partnerships manager Charlie Heritage added: “We are proud to support this community-led project, which is of great importance at a time when some people and their families are faced with the prospect of going hungry.”

While the mosque is calling on people of Banbury to support them and spread the word, they are only able to accept donations from food suppliers at present.

Organisers welcome anybody who wants to volunteer or find out more to attend the launch event, which will take place at the mosque from 10am to 11am on Tuesday.

For more information, call Yasmin on 07878 312073 or Haleema on 07469 924136.

This project is associated with Sanctuary’s ‘community investment fund’, supporting projects which aim to benefit Sanctuary residents and their communities.

*The launch event was initially scheduled for October 30 but had to be rearranged to November 6.