Volunteers helping to run the Tavy Fridge have issued clarity as to how the food resource operates, following a recent influx of questions.

Based in the foyer of Tavistock Library, the fridge is designed to prevent food waste by providing free food, thus benefiting those in need.

The fridge is open and accessible during the library’s opening hours, which are 9am to 6pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9am to 4pm on a Saturday. The library is closed on bank holidays, with any changes to standard opening hours listed on the Tavy Fridge Facebook page.

The fridge stocks food from local supermarkets, shops and other project partners including another anti-food waste organisation in Tavistock. Whilst food can sometimes be on or slightly past its best before date, it remains in suitable condition to consume.

It is suggested for those using the fridge that a maximum of five items a day are taken, as staff at the library and volunteers wish for the contents to be accessed as widely as possible to benefit as many people as necessary, not just a select few.

Jan Horrell, senior library supervisor, said: “Food comes in at different times of the day. We see most access to the fridge in the first hour of opening each day it is open but it’s always busy, the food always goes except on times like Saturday when we’re not open as late and we get a lunchtime delivery.

“Our local volunteers have specific roles such as cleaning morning and evening and driving to pick things up every evening from the various providers. They put in so much effort and work really hard to shift things in and out and keep the facility hygenic. They’re to be congratulated for all they do as it really helps to redistribute food which would otherwise likely end up in landfill.”

The fridge was established in March 2021, Denise Gatley, first assistant at the library, recognised the need to bring the resource to the town after seeing the positive effect other fridges in nearby places such as Chagford were having in helping members of their respective communities.

With funding help from LiveWest, the library has remained committed to hosting the fridge, covering maintenance and insurance costs and has now amassed over 30 volunteers, who contribute to its continued operation.

Upon the fridge marking its second anniversary, Denise said: “We are hugely grateful to all those involved and their response such as Continental Fruits, Lidl and the Co-op, who have been amazing providing lots of fruit and vegetables, which are great to have in the fridge.”

If you wish to add your own surplus food to the fridge, a list of things which can and cannot be accepted are listed on a pinned post on the Facebook page, where you can also make contact, at: https://www.facebook.com/TavyFridge