Knaphill Community Fridge

About 50 people queued in the hot sun on Monday 11th July awaiting the opening at 11am of this community fridge. In fact, it opened fifteen minutes early because of some concern about the power of the sun. Located on the Chobham Road at Holy Trinity Church, it has existed since 2019 when Jules Hopkins, the wife of the Vicar, started it up with a handful of volunteers. Now, there are over 40 who help collect the food from supermarkets, transport it to the church and set it out in the churchor in the grounds when the weather is good. The High Sheriff and his wife chatted with some of the dozen volunteers present who included a retired probation officer and a retired prison officer.

The fridge opens daily Monday to Friday from 11-3.30pm. Available for free are breads of different types, tinned produce, cans of drink, chocolate, vegetables, fruit, flowers and some household items. Nobody is allowed to take more than they genuinely require, and no one breaches that, out of fairness to everyone. There is close supervision of what people take just in case someone should be tempted to pack their bag with more than their needs.

The fridge has become a meeting place for its users, a chance to make friends, to enjoy a coffee or a tea, a biscuit or a piece of cake, and to have a chat inside the church. It’s not just those who live nearby who come to the fridge and some travel from several miles away. A growing need is being met and thank goodness it exists for otherwise many would be going without. Furthermore, it is saving over 60 tons a year of produce from supermarkets going to a landfill site. In an average month it receives about 5 tons of food, excluding bottled water which is not weighed. It is avoiding waste, when items are still perfectly safe for consumption but are just past a best before date or have come out of packaging that has split.

The rise in the cost of living and the forecasts about inflation will mean this fridge, and all those that have been established around the country in the past few years, will be even more important and in fact invaluable to those adversely affected by the economic situation. Knaphill Community Fridge is a wonderful example of what can be achieved for a community. The High Sheriff and his wife sincerely thank Jules and her team of volunteers for what they are doing for so many.