Community fridge a hit

GIVING BACK: Jasmine Riwaka stacks the shelves at the New Brighton food fridge with fresh bread. PHOTO: GILBERT WEALLEANS

An initiative to give away free food in New Brighton has taken off with more success than first thought.

Waimairi’s Trudy Burrows started up a community fridge and pantry last month, and she has been “overwhelmed” by the amount of people using it.

She said most days there are between 50 to 80 people there getting what they need from the fridge and pantry, located at 46 Hawke St.

“We stock it up two times a day and, by the end of the day, it is empty again,” Mrs Burrows said.

That doesn’t bother her, though, she’s glad people who need it are using the service – as long as they don’t use it to get all of their groceries.

“Sometimes things can get expensive – an unexpected bill can make it hard to eat,” she said.

She said plenty of people donate what they can – whether it was a loaf of bread or filling up the whole fridge.

The Canterbury District Health Board mobile mental health service and the Rosewood Rest Home and Hospital filled up the pantry on two separate occasions.

“It’s just been really overwhelming, the support has been really amazing,” Mrs Burrows said.

She said she was also surprised by the people offering their help.

“I’ve had offers from people in Sumner, Mt Pleasant and Redcliffs. I can’t believe they would offer to come all this way,” she said.

Now she is looking for drivers, particularly people who can donate their time to pick up food from various places to take to the fridge and pantry.

•If you are interested in being a driver, email