MENSTON Community Fridge opened its doors for the first time on Monday, February 20, after several months of planning.

A Community Fridge is a space that brings people together to reduce food waste. It is a site where local people can share food, this includes surplus from supermarkets, local food businesses, producers, households and gardens. Fridges are run by community groups in shared spaces such as schools, community centres and shops, their main purpose is saving fresh food from going to waste.

Ilkley Gazette: Produce available at Menston Community FridgeProduce available at Menston Community Fridge

A spokesperson for Menston Community Fridge said: "We are based at Kirklands Community Centre and were able to set up thanks to a grant from Menston Parish Council and the support of Kirklands (Menston) Trust.

"We aim to reduce the amount of food that ends up in landfill. It is estimated that supermarkets alone send 200,000 tonnes of food waste to landfill each year and we hope to play our part in reducing this amount.

"We operate through Neighbourly, FareShare Go, and Caboodle. They allocate our collection slots for surplus food, which would otherwise go to landfill, from local supermarkets. We also invite people to bring along any food that they will not use. For example, in the growing season, people could bring along their excess produce. Apart from our fridge, we have a freezer and also stock store cupboard goods."

Ilkley Gazette: Menston Community FridgeMenston Community Fridge

The Menston Community Fridge opening hours are currently: 9.30am-11.30am on Mondays; 2pm-4pm on Thursdays, and 9.30am-11.30am on Saturdays.

Menston Community Fridge is run entirely by volunteers, either collecting surplus food or managing the fridge during opening hours. It is open to everybody, free of charge, although people may wish to make a voluntary donation, which will help to cover running costs, such as electricity and insurance.

The spokesperson added: "We are very proud that, in our first week of opening, we collected 340kg of surplus food, and discarded only 1kg, consisting of green potatoes and very soft turnips!

"On Saturday 25th February we held an Open Morning, when all the team was available to answer any questions. We are delighted that many more people signed up to volunteer their time and would welcome anyone who is able to spare a couple of hours a week to help us.

"We are on Facebook and will shortly have our website up and running. Contact us for more details."