A community fridge has been opened in Malmesbury in an attempt to support people through the cost of living crisis. 

Social welfare charity HEALS of Malmesbury has opened the fridge and freezer in Malmesbury Town Hall. It is free use by anyone in the community.

Surplus food from the two Malmesbury Co-ops will be stocked on Monday and Wednesday mornings by HEALS volunteers, with dried foods such as bread also available.

They will also be responsible for cleaning, maintaining accurate records and disposing of food that has reached its use by date.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard:

The project has been funded by Co-op partners Hubbub, Wiltshire Council’s Malmesbury Area Board, Malmesbury Area Community Trust and Malmesbury Carnival.

"We know that food prices are rising very steeply and lots of families and individuals are facing growing charges as we head into autumn," said HEALS chair of trustees Gavin Grant.

"We can now offer extra free food help to those that need it, just as the school holidays start, and also help to cut food waste generally in Malmesbury by making this facility open to all," 

"It has taken more than a year of hard work to turn this idea into a reality, led by our HEALS trustees project team Richard Dodridge and Karen Franklin, Malmesbury Co-op member pioneer coordinator Lou James and Malmesbury town councillor Steve D'Arcy. 

"We owe them and the volunteers who have stepped forward a huge debt of gratitude," he added.

Speaking as she formally opened the community fridge and freezer, Malmesbury mayor Kim Power said: "It is really good to see HEALS and our local Co-ops get together to make this important project happen.

“I am thrilled we have been able to provide a free space in the town hall. That makes the surplus food freely available and accessible to all. 

"Hopefully more food will go to good use, rather than landfill, which is what happens now."

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Co-op staff and volunteersCo-op staff and volunteers

Malmesbury Co-ops store manager Alan Spall said: “I am absolutely delighted that we at last have a Food Share Partner to minimise food waste and benefit the community of Malmesbury.”

Co-op regional manager David Jones also attended the opening on Monday, July 25 alongside HEALS volunteers, trustees, and local councillors.