NH hotel Ghent Belfort supports local initiative to reduce food waste

Jurgen Doise, hotel manager of the Green Key awarded NH hotel Ghent Belfort in Belgium, and local entrepreneur and friend Stef Mintiens wanted to put a stop to the massive amounts of food that are thrown out every day before even reaching the consumer. That’s how the ‘Freego-project’ came to life.

About 2 years ago, during the refurbishing of the NH hotel Gent Belfort, Jurgen Doise was looking for a new home for some old (still working) room fridges that had to be replaced. His friend and local entrepreneur Stef Mintiens was working on an idea to share fresh left-over food (from restaurants, etc.) with people who are interested in free food. And that’s how the concept of ‘Freego’ was developed.

Stef started with attaching one of the donated fridges to the front of his house in the centre of Ghent and asked some relevant companies to donate fresh left-over food. With the help of some local publicity the project started rolling out very fast. Now there are several ‘Freego’s ´in different cities in Belgium.

Companies or individuals can donate fresh food (no prepacked or ready-to-eat meals from the shop). The food can be consumed by everyone, however people are asked not to take more than they need in order not to corrupt the system. And it seems to working very well.

In the last 18 months Stef was able to share 1.300 portions of soup, 7.000 sandwiches, 2.500 vegetarian burgers and 3.000 fresh pasta dishes. One of the regular suppliers says he already saved a full container of food waste in the last year. So also for the suppliers it is very beneficial.