Food for the Homeless Fridge

This new project soon to launch for Rotary Adelaide West is being led by Club Members Simon Mills, Bill Marles and Yvonne Merendi.

8 week trial to Commence in August 2016.

This will be an ongoing joint project with our corporate partners and generous members of the public, assisting us to fund the initial project roll out and ongoing expansion. We would like to thank Bendigo Bank and Grote Business Precinct for their enormous passions to date.

Project Outline:

We all realise how much food is wasted by society, including in our own cities and suburbs.

Our Adelaide Central Market food collections since 2010 have allowed Rotary Adelaide West to deliver over $90,000 of fresh, uncooked food to shelters on Saturdays.

But we have never been able to manage unsold cooked food to the streets for the growing number of homeless customers who are unable to gain access to shelters.

By asking our local restaurants, cafes and coffee shops to place their excess food in a supplied community fridge, we are using a very simple idea to fill a very basic community need for many Homeless people of all ages.

This in turn encourages restaurant patrons to donate what they feel they would like to buy at a restaurant they have finished dining at, and place it in the fridge. This could feed dozens of people every night.

Our first community fridge is hoped to be installed in the Adelaide Central Market, next to the Glass Lifts that service the Market Carpark. This easy access location should be simple for our homeless patrons to visit at times of hunger.

A few key features include:

• The fridge is to be similar to the backlit, glass door fridges you see in Lunch Bars, allowing people to see easily what is inside.

• The fridge is left unlocked and unmanned 24 hours a day, and any homeless person who needs a feed can utilise it.

• For safety reasons, the food will be date stamped and checked daily, so restaurant staff and volunteers can discard old food that has not been eaten.

• Tamper Proof food containers are being sourced to ensure safety is paramount.

• As the project expands, fridges will be installed / located outside vacant shops in busy restaurant areas out of the weather and close to a power source.

• The fridges can act as billboards, by allowing homeless support groups to utilize the sides for information relevant to homeless needs.

• Policing will be a community responsibility, after all, who wants to steal from the homeless in a busy community area. If this proves difficult, only then will the idea of a security camera be trialled.

• Transport companies have donated their time and equipment to move the fridges from site to site as required.

• Hospitality companies have offered support in providing fridges for the sole use of helping the homeless.

• If the trial is successful, with ongoing funding, more purpose built pseudo vending machines / refrigerators could be developed.

• Rotary Adelaide West is putting all efforts into making this a reality by unpaid members doing all the leg work to set up this project.

• Stickers could also be created for restaurants to advertise their participation in the initiative.

• Silver, Gold and Platinum Corporate Sponsors are to be recognised on the Fridge(s) to acknowledge their generosity and good Corporate Citizenship.

It is hoped over coming months and years around Adelaide, that other precincts will 'adopt' a fridge in their areas. Interest is growing fast with many community groups offering support within their areas of expertise to address specific issues with the project roll-out.

How you Can Help

• Join the Steering Working Group to add you ideas / passion / expertise to the planning of this valuable project. Help us to roll out our Trial in August 2016.

• Volunteer to support the ongoing running of the project. As one example, Bendigo Bank Waymouth Street Branch have already committed to visiting the fridge for 10 minutes on a set day, to check old food not accessed is removed, and the fridge remains clean and fresh. Can your business take on another day?

< Donate Online Here > Every donation will help us reach our $10,000 initial target to roll out the first 2 project trial fridges!

Please Note : Donations and Corporate Partnerships of $2,500 and above will entitle your business logo / family name to be promoted on the Fridge to recognise your caring community spirit.

More Information : Contact Simon Mills on 0413 430 462

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Rotary will model our project on this trial in India, with some changes to how food is handled for even greater safety.