A COMMUNITY enterprise is celebrating its first anniversary in which it prevented almost 12-tonnes of good quality food going to landfill.

Part of the National Community Fridge Network, the Ryedale Free Fridge in Malton is the first of its kind in North Yorkshire boasting produce from a range of artisan food producers and local suppliers.

Visitors to the fridge can ‘pay as they feel’ in return for the fresh produce from the fridge that can no longer be sold.

As a result, the Ryedale Free Fridge has fed more than 8,000 people in 12-months and provides a social hub for the local community.

The initiative helps local businesses reduce their own food waste footprint and supports Malton in its ambitions to become the UK’s first circular economy market town.

Tom Naylor-Leyland, director of Visit Malton, said: “Food is at the heart of our community and both residents and businesses in Malton value quality, artisan food and drink, as well as ensuring we all do our bit to prevent unnecessary food wastage.

"We’re very proud to celebrate the first anniversary of the Ryedale Free Fridge, its success is a true testament to the support of the community.

“We have ambitious plans to champion sustainable initiatives and take positive steps to becoming the UK’s first circular economy market town.

"The Ryedale Free Fridge and it’s volunteers are helping Malton on this journey.”

The success of the Ryedale Free Fridge has inspired other communities and has led to the opening of others in North Yorkshire such as Filey, Hunmanby and Norton.