A Community Fridge is a refrigerator located in a public space. It enables food to be shared within a community, anyone can put food in and anyone can take food out. The main aim of Community Fridges is to reduce food waste. They also enable people facing hardship to have easy access to fresh, nutritious food. Community Fridges are normally social spaces that enable people to connect to their communities.
In 1958, to solve the poverty issue after World War II, the Mustard Seed Mission distributed clothing, rice, flour and other materials throughout Taiwan, and set up 15 milk stations in the western coastal areas; today, Taiwan's food is no longer deficient, but the problem of "food surpluses" has caused problems of environment, economic, and uneven food distribution. Besides, in Taiwan, the weight of foods with an ugly appearance have been throw away is as high as 36,000 metric tons.
From Surpluses to Balance
In 2017, the Mustard Seed Mission promote the concept of "no waste of food, creating a network of no-hunger communities" and set up community foodbanks throughout Taiwan. So far, there are more than 100 community foodbanks all over Taiwan. In early 2019, the Mustard Seed Mission began to launch "Love. Sharing Refrigerator" project and started to encourage community people to share foods, such as instant items, bread, and frozen food, etc. to those in need. The way can also avoid resource misplacement and food waste. Those who are in need can take these shared foods for free. It is not only to reduce the waste of resources, but also to respect for food producers. Moreover, it is one of the methods to sustain our environment.
Balance the Food Demand and Supply by Community Fridges
According to a survey, about 650,000 people in Taiwan cannot afford three meals a day. Even in Taipei and New Taipei city, mid/low-income households are nearly 30% of Taiwan's population. Thus, the Mustard Seed Mission set up community fridges with "Common Good Partners" of the Mustard Seed Network. There will be a total of 10 fridges will be set in different communities. In the future, it will be further extended to more service bases in Taiwan. Inviting you to walk with us to make it happen with action and promoting the sharing, cooperating, and common good community life together in Taiwan.