I had the pleasure of visiting Leatherhead Community Fridge for the first time on Friday to see what yumminess i could hunt down and turn into simple recipes. I think there had been more the previous day, but i still got a pretty great haul, including an enormous courgette from someone’s allotment.
Community fridges are such a vital local resource as they offer a way of massively reducing food waste by local businesses and redistributing it within the community. 2.5 tonnes of food has been saved and redistributed by my local fridge alone since March of this year. Anything that isn’t taken by the end of the day goes to feed some local pigs, so nothing wasted.
It’s also a lifeline to those in the community who have to rely on foodbanks and the community fridges to be able to feed themselves. And the great thing about the fridges is that they offer up fresh produce that people otherwise may have to go without, giving them vital vitamins and minerals to stave off all sorts of illness. I’ve recently written about being one of the working poor, so my trip to the Fridge on Friday was to be able to eat for the next few days until i get paid. This blog post is my way of paying it forward until i can make a donation. All the food is free to whoever needs it, all they ask in return is that you leave what you can. And if you can’t, then that’s OK too. Just pay it forward when you can.
To find a Community Fridge near you, check out HubBub’s website
So what did i manage to turn all that food into? Well, the plan was to make a soup, a ragu and some paprika courgette fries, but it turned into 2 soups because i made too much stock for the ragu so it was too runny. I also managed to make a salad dressing as well! I used some bits that i had left in the fridge like some romaine lettuce and ginger that were both on the turn, and my last tin of chopped tomatoes and some red lentils that i had left. The sweetcorn I ate as just corn on the cob, which I’ve not had in donkeys years.
- The first soup is cabbage, courgette, thyme, ginger and garlic.
- ‘Ragu’ soup is courgette, red lentils, tinned tomatoes, garlic and thyme
- Paprika courgette fries
- Salad dressing: thyme, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice and some left over romaine lettuce
So that’s 4 meals of soup, a serving of chips AND enough salad dressing to last all week from just a few free bits of veg and whatever i had left in the cupboard. Now you can see why community fridges are such vital resources within communities. The volunteers were both so lovely and welcoming, and didn’t seem to mind my incessant chattering about all sorts of nonsense (i get word vomit when i’m nervous), and they won’t judge. I encourage anyone who is struggling and needs fresh food to seek out their local community fridge and pop a long, even if its just for more info or just to get out of the house for an hour. Not only will you be feeding yourself, you’ll be helping to reduce food waste in your local area.
Let me know if anyone wants the recipes for any of these and i’ll post them for you 🙂