Lifeline set up to tackle food poverty crisis during lockdown

Many families are going hungry, meanwhile a huge amount of fresh food goes to waste every day. The idea behind Merton's Community Fridge, a long-terminitiative by Sustainable Merton, is to tackle both issues, redistributing surplus goods to those in need.

As the country went into lockdown, more people than ever needed help to get basic food supplies. Sustainable Merton looked at how to fast-track development of Merton’s Community Fridge so that it could meet this growing demand but also ensure that it could protect its volunteers, and those they serve.

The charity applied for a grant from Merton Giving to provide three months’ running costs so it could move quickly. Sustainable Merton undertook a COVID-19 risk assessment, recruited or redeployed volunteers and worked alongside the London Food Alliance, Merton Council, Merton College, and other local organisations to set up Merton's Community Fridge Network - a network of food distribution hubs providing a lifeline to residents.

Merton’s Community Fridge opened at Morden Baptist Church in May, and within just four days it had provided food parcels, with perishable and non-perishable goods, to 75 people, including 33 children.

The Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund

The Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund: Response, Resilience and Recovery will be launching soon.Follow Merton Giving on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for announcements later this week.