‘WASTE not, want not’ is very much at the heart of a new project aimed at tackling food poverty.

Shildon Alive, a St John’s Church project, has teamed up with the charity Hubbub and Durham County Council to become a member of the Community Fridge Network, which is hoped will reduce food waste in the area.

Now installed in the Shildon Alive hub in Church Street, the Fridge for All was donated by Sainsbury’s as part of its Waste Less Save More scheme.

It is open to everyone in the community to take from or donate to, and operates in the same way as the hub’s ‘take what you need, donate if you can’ food shelf. It could be donating leftover milk before a holiday, or a bunch of bananas in danger of over ripening, the idea is to share resources.

Shildon Alive has also arranged to collect food waste from nearby Tesco and Morrison’s stores to help keep the fridge stocked.

Every year, the average household throws away £470-worth of food, while an estimated four million people are living in food poverty. In Shildon, the hub’s food bank donated 7,000 meals last year.

Reverend David Tomlinson said: “Sadly, there is still a stigma surrounding foodbanks but the Fridge For All is about residents helping other residents. We are all walking this road together and some of us have more and some of us have less. One day this could change, and those who have more may be the ones in need.”

The hub is open 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.