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Community fridge programme provides solution for food insecurity, waste

By Maria Weldali - Feb 20,2022 - Last updated at Feb 20,2022

The ‘Thalajat Al Khair’ (the Welfare Fridge) initiative is seeking to tackle food insecurity and reduce food waste in Amman (Photo courtesy of ‘Thalajat Al Khair’ initiative)

AMMAN — The “Thalajat Al Khair” initiative is seeking to tackle food insecurity and reduce food waste in Amman by introducing the concept of community fridges, according to the project’s co-founder.

“There is a definite need for a free food initiative in our country, plus it is a great way to give back,” initiative co-founder Aya Sirriyeh told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

The idea for the project originally arose from a conversation at home, Sirriyeh said. She, along with other family members, started the initiative, which in English translates to “the Welfare Fridge”.

For Sirriyeh, helping others comes naturally, which motivated her to find a way to contribute to the community.

The way the fridge works is that people drop off their excess food, or even non-perishable foodstuffs and boxed meals, Sirriyeh said. Each meal is labelled with the contents of the dish and the date it was prepared.

In February, Sirriyeh set up the first community fridge at a mosque in Amman’s Rabieh area. Four other locations will be added in Abu Nseir, Abdoun, Um Uthaina and Jabal Al Jofa.

“People are coming and all the food gets taken within half an hour,” she said, adding that an act as simple as donating basic necessities can change many individuals’ lives.

The initiative already has dedicated volunteers in rotation who help clean, maintain and stock the fridge, she said.

“Community fridges are accessible and convenient, unlike other food assistance programmes. Those fridges are for everyone in need,” she said.

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