// Co-op teams up with an environmental charity to fast-track the expansion of community fridges
// Community fridges are open to everyone in communities – without need to be referred
// The food is donated by businesses – with Co-op donating surplus food from its stores
Co-op has partnered with an environmental charity in an effort to accelerate its food donation scheme.
The retailer teamed up with Hubbub to fast-track the expansion of community fridges across the UK.
Community fridges are open to everyone in communities – without any need to be referred or having to prove eligibility – to share fresh food that would otherwise have gone to waste.
The food is donated by businesses – with Co-op donating surplus food from its stores.
The scheme offers communities to learn new skills through activities such as cookery sessions and workshops on how to grow your own fruit and veg.
This new partnership, will see the existing Community Fridge Network increase to 250 community fridges over the next year, saving a further 6.8 million meals per year from going to waste.
The move builds on the success of the existing 150 fridges in the network, which redistribute an average of almost 6000 meals per fridge each month.
One of the first fridges of the new partnership has been opened this week in Failsworth, Greater Manchester at the Co-op Academy.
Following this, 15 new community fridges are set to open their doors this month, including one in Wythenshawe, South Manchester.
“Thanks to our members and customers, we’re delighted to be partnering with Hubbub on such an innovative scheme bringing communities together, empowering people towards community-led food solutions that will help to build community resilience,” Co-op group chief executive Steve Murrells said.
“As a co-operative, we recognise our responsibility to make a genuine difference and have already made a number of interventions to help tackle food poverty and create fairer access to food, through our food share partnerships and our donations to FareShare.
“However, our work in our local communities has shown us that to really make a sustainable difference we need to co-operate with others to build the resilience needed for the future.”