Community fridge program pitched

Vernon woman has had enough of food waste

Amanda Laranjo has seen enough of food waste.

The Vernon wife and mother of three has started a movement on Facebook to open community fridges in the city, where people can drop-off food that would not be used and dumped into the garbage.

Laranjo has started a group on the social media site called Vernon Community Fridge Planners, and will hold an informational meeting Monday at 9 a.m. in the basement of Bean To Cup on 27th Street.

“Food waste is something that has troubled me for a long time,” said Laranjo. “So much food is wasted. You see lots of examples of it on social media, and I just thought I have to do something about this.

“It’s a growing concern and it’s going to need a lot of people to make this idea work. We want to try and come up with a solution to help our needy and reduce food waste.

The goal is to set up refrigerators in various locations around Vernon that would be used for people to drop off food that may be targeted for disposal. As an example, people who are going away on vacation and have food in their fridges they need to get rid of.

The community fridges would be operated by volunteers, and Laranjo is hoping to get some of the local grocery outlets on board.

The refrigerators are becoming common around the globe.

“They’ve started them in Montreal,” said Laranjo. “Dubai has more than 150 fridges. The UK is doing quite a bit.”

Anyone interested in the project is asked to come to Monday’s meeting, or, if you can’t make it, call Laranjo at 250-308-0228.

“Bring your ideas, expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm to help create a non-profit community fridge program in Vernon,” said Laranjo, who said reports suggest that Canada produces $31 billion in wasted food with 47 per cent of that total coming from household food waste.

The Facebook page is Vernon Community Fridge Planners and, as of Friday morning, had 34 members.

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