The Circular Dorking Blog

Little stories to inspire big changes

Mid Surrey Community Fridges CIC

Food waste is bad…

Mid Surrey Community Fridges are sites where local people can share food – this includes surplus from supermarkets, local food businesses, producers, households and gardens.

The History…

We opened our first Community Fridge in our home town of Dorking in September 2017. With the help of our friends, we started to collect surplus food from local supermarkets.  Very quickly we started to realise the scale of the surplus food problem in the UK and were shocked to find that there is a large number of people in so-called affluent Surrey living with food insecurity.

In 2018 we opened a second Fridge on the social housing estate south of Dorking. By March 2020, we were working with surplus food agencies and other businesses and redistributing 2000 kilogrammes every week via a third Fridge in North Leatherhead and a Mobile Fridge van service to isolated rural communities around Dorking.

Responding to the pandemic…

When the pandemic hit, we changed our model to become a referral bag drop service, with volunteers delivering to doorsteps. The surplus food availability went through the roof and by April we were collecting and delivering 10 tonnes of food and by July over 1000 food parcels every week!  We packed and delivered 69,000 food parcels in the two years of lockdown.

Five years later, we have a small warehouse in Dorking, three vans and 192 volunteers (amazing)!  We are a Community Interest Company, therefore profit/surplus goes back into the community. We have 5 paid part-time staff and we are shifting around 5 tonnes of food every week, that’s around 750 bags – we have strong arms!

Our food is available to everyone.  No referral required.  All we ask is that you take just one bag of food and if you can, give us a donation of £2.50 per bag.

By taking the food, you are part of the solution

We believe the best way to achieve zero food waste is to make the food supply chain more efficient.  Until that day comes we are the people who will motivate and mobilise the community to collect surplus food, divert it from landfill (which is bad for the environment and climate) and help to reduce food poverty.

What can you do?

1.   Simples: Eat all the food that you buy (60% of food waste is domestic)

2.   Visit our sites and take a bag of food.  See our website for locations and times

3.   Donate what you can to help us – food or money!

4.   Volunteer with us, it’s fun.  Contact us

Food can be one of life’s greatest pleasures and we can’t do without it but it shouldn’t cost the planet.

Visit the Mid Surrey Community Fridges website

Our Facebook Page


Clare Davies, CEO – Mid Surrey Community Fridge (Community Interest Company)

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