Churches across the area of Crayford have joined together for a new initiative to tackle food waste and food poverty.
Called the Crayford Community Fridge, it is the brainchild of a group called Churches Together in Crayford. Based within the grounds of Crayford Baptist Church, it is run by volunteers from across the churches.
"It is fabulous to see us all come together to provide a service like this," says Stuart Spence from St Paulinus Church, a Church of England church in Crayford. He continued:
"The principle behind the community fridge is a place where people in the community as well as the businesses, can bring food and share food, to avoid food having to go to waste. So anybody's welcome to come and help themselves to food from the fridge."
Watch a short film about the Community Fridge (captions available or read a transcript)
It is also hoped that for anyone struggling with the rising cost of living, the fridge will be a welcome support.
Open every Wednesday between 1pm and 3pm, it is stocked with both fresh and frozen food, as well as other items such as nappies and pet food, which are free to take.
The project has received financial support from the Diocese of Rochester, Cory Environmental, The Co-Op, and Bexley Borough Council.
Bishop Simon Burton-Jones, the Bishop of Tonbridge, joined the community for a dedication service.
Food waste is a significant issue both environmentally and financially. Speaking at the launch, Bishop Simon said:
"Figures show that 9.5 million tonnes of food goes to waste in the UK each year. Put that alongside another number: that 8.4 million people live with food poverty, and you get an ugly fact. There is over one tonne of spare food each year for every person going hungry in the UK.
"But there are ways of connecting these statistics and the community fridge movement is one of them."
He went on to offer thanks to all those involved:
"Thank God for this initiative. Thank God for those who will use it. Thank God for those who provide it. In the chill of the fridge is the warmest of welcomes."