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Town Council Supports New Surplus Food Community Project


A display of fresh vegetables at Hailsham Farmers Market. 

Hailsham Town Council has offered its support to a local community food scheme which aims to bring people together to stop food waste, by granting permission to volunteers to use its Council premises for storage and collection of surplus food by residents.

Town councillors considered a request from ‘Pass It On (In Your Community) CIC’ to use the James West Community Centre in Brunel Drive at weekends for the project and have agreed to place a fridge and freezer in the lobby of the centre. These will be brand new appliances and will be available for the whole community in the coming weeks on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 12 noon.

Pass It On is a new local charitable organisation, founded and run by Zoe Prior, Lin Palmer and Karen Mariner to support the people of Hailsham and surrounding areas and stop food waste.

Zoe currently undertakes all the food collections for the ‘Community Fridge’ based at the Hailsham East Community and Children’s Centre, which is a Sussex Community Development Association (SCDA) funded project run in collaboration with the centre. It is open on weekdays from 10am-4pm and will continue to operate as it is.

Zoe collects surplus and waste food from supermarkets including Waitrose, Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl, as well as from Booker’s and the Hawkswood petrol station. The donated surplus food is put into the Community Fridge – available to everyone in the community – and isn’t means tested, with no forms to fill in at all.

Existing Community Fridge projects in Hailsham will soon be supplemented independently by Pass It On at the James West Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday mornings, details of which will be announced and an official opening to take place in the coming weeks.

Zoe Prior said: “As prices continue to increase and more families need help, we are finding that people are using community fridges much more. I find that, although we are helping many families, it is the working people that cannot get to the Hailsham East Community Centre when the fridge operates from there. This is why I felt that setting up a weekend fridge would help many more people – and having it at the James West Community Centre would spread the help across the town.”

“Having a community fridge reduces food waste and surplus food, whilst saving our environment. So, if anyone has any tins or packets in their cupboards that are in date and unopened that they are not going to use or have surplus vegetables from an allotment then please bring it down to share with the community and take what you need whilst you’re there.”

“I’m grateful to the Town Council for allowing us to use the James West Community Centre for this important community project,” Zoe added.

“Hopefully this will be the first of many projects that Pass it On will be involved with. There are many excellent charitable organisations in Hailsham and I hope we can work together to bring people of all ages together and make a difference in our community.”

Deputy Town Clerk & Business Enterprise Manager, Mickey Caira commented: “The Community Fridge idea continues to gain momentum all over the country and are a platform for sharing surplus food within a community to reduce food waste going to landfill. They are not means tested, are open to all and differ from the vital role food banks play – but offer a complementary provision.”

“It’s great to see that many supermarkets and retailers are only too pleased to see surplus food items – such as bread, meat, fruit and vegetables – go onto people’s dinner plates as opposed to being consigned to the bin.”

“The Town Council is delighted to work alongside the newly established Pass It On charitable organisation by offering space to operate from at the James West Community Centre. Hailsham has a great community spirit and people here certainly look out for each other and by working together, we can all do our bit towards reducing the amount of food going to waste.”

Enquiries relating to this media release

Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: