Sharing surplus food in Dundee

SCCAN member Gatechurch International’s community fridge project opened in the west end of Dundee in July last year. The fridge makes surplus food, mostly from supermarkets, available to anyone who is able to use it. Lynsey Penny from the Gatechurch Carbon Saving Project explains how they have adapted to the Covid-19 crisis. 

Dundee West End Community Fridge

“So when it became clear we were going to go into lockdown, we immediately started manning the fridge so that everyone couldn’t go in and start touching everything. We made some new rules which included one visit per day, and a limit on the number of items. We did that because in the beginning when all the panic buying happened we didn’t get much food at all. The weeks after that saw mountains of food as donations came in from food businesses that were closing down, and then the supermarkets caught up with demand. However, the number of people coming to the fridge also went up quite dramatically so we decided to keep the item limit, and vary it when we really had a lot to give away.

Fridge users told us they really like the new rules, knowing that it is fair and everyone has a chance to obtain some nice items. We also shortened the opening hours to ensure we would have enough volunteers. So, we are now open 7 days 11am-4pm, and there are always 2 volunteers there. One stands inside the fridge and tells the users (who must wait at the door) what we have that day, the other stands outside and makes sure people are staying 2m apart in the queue. So far it’s working well. 

We’re currently getting around 100 fridge visitors per day, and counting their families at home it adds up to 1100 people we’re helping to feed every week. We’re also part of a food distribution network involving around 25-30 other projects which was set up by Faith In Community Dundee at the start of the pandemic, to help us all work together and share out the food across the city. The resilience shown by our community at this time has given me great hope for the future!”

The Dundee West End Community Fridge is located at Miller’s Wynd Car Park, DD1 4HY. The Fridge is open: 11AM – 4PM EVERYDAY

To find out more, feel free to visit Dundee Community Fridge’s website.