THE fourth 'community fridge' in the country will be established near Oxford to help tackle food waste.

From Monday, March 13 Botley will become the home of the new initiative.

The brains behind the 'community fridge' shop is North Hinksey resident Riki Therivel, who was visiting a food bank when she was struck by the idea.

She said: "I was at Swindon Food Bank and they mentioned about having a community fridge where residents could help themselves.

"I thought this is a great idea, why do we not set one up here.

"The point of the fridge is two-fold, the first being to help reduce food waste.

"The second is to help people most in need in the community."

The drop-in facility will be up and running at St Peter and St Paul Church for members of the community to help themselves to the products to be donated by other residents and Oxford Food Bank.

Individuals can contribute fruit, vegetables, bread, pastries and non-perishables and registered food businesses can also donate cooked food.

Ms Therivel added: "The whole idea is for people to bring in food that would normally have been wasted for someone else to make good use of it.

"But there are a few things we cannot accept including raw meat, fish, eggs, cooked rice or, of course, food past its 'use by' date.

"We not only want people to be aware of the food bank but we are going to need some volunteers to help us clean the fridge every day."

A masterclass in fridge cleaning was held on Thursday to prepare willing volunteers before a cleaning rota is drawn up.

Ready to roll up her sleeves was Botley resident Sally Herson.

She said: "I am particularly against food waste, so anything we can do to reduce that is fantastic.

"And I guess the other great thing about the fridge is that it shows community spirit."

The other community fridges in the country are in Frome in Somerset, South Derbyshire and London.

The village's magazine 'The Sprout' has donated the initial funds to get the initiative off the ground.

On Mondays to Saturdays it will be available from 9am to 5pm and on Sundays 11am to 5pm.

Ms Therivel said there would be a priority slot for residents most in need on Monday and Saturday from 9am to 10am.

She added: "We have been fortunate enough to have a partnership with Tesco's programme fareshare.

"But the condition of them providing us food is to make sure it goes to those who need it most.

"We will have a volunteer at these designated times to see the donated food is given to those who are in need."

For more information or to volunteer to help visit: