By Ali Jones, Customer & Community Director
I’m excited to tell you that we’ve opened the 200th Hubbub community fridge in Lancaster West Estate in North Kensington, London. It’s the 50th fridge funded by Co-op, and a big moment in our £500,000 partnership with Hubbub to open 100 new community fridges across the country by the end of this year.
Fair access to food
We’re passionate about finding ways Co-op can help people in our communities to have fair access to food, so it was brilliant to hear from Hubbub that 13.6 million meals are now redistributed annually through their 200 fridges. The latest community fridge expects to support 1,500 local residents.
Community fridges are social spaces where anyone can share surplus food. They reduce food waste and empower communities to help each other through activities such as cookery sessions and workshops on how to grow your own fruit and veg. Across the network, each fridge redistributes an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month – enough to make 5,683 meals.
Saving money, sustainable living, delicious food
The new community fridge has been established with the support of the Lancaster West Neighbourhood Team and Lancaster West Residents’ Association. It’ll form part of the #LancsWestGrowsBest project, which aims to reduce the amount of money residents spend on food and support more sustainable living, through growing initiatives and the community fridge.
To launch the new fridge, food waste chef Mark Breen cooked a delicious Moroccan frittata, panzanella and one ingredient banana ice cream. He was joined by two local food legends in a celebration of the estate’s diverse food culture: Joseph Hunte and Scott Dennis.
Take a look at this video of the launch event:
More than a fridge
The launch of the latest fridge showed me just how important these fridges are to people across the UK. They provide communities not only with fresh food that they may not otherwise be able to access, but they also bring people together to support one another with their mental wellbeing, which is another of our community missions. They’re more than just a fridge; they can be a life-changing asset to a community.
Kim Monte, the co-ordinator for the new community fridge told me:
“The community fridge will create a safe and welcoming space for residents to relax and share tips with each other, building stronger links within the Lancaster West Community.”
Big thanks to Co-op members
It was a fantastic day and exciting to see communities come together to enjoy delicious food. We’re looking forward to seeing more fridges opening in the coming months, and it’s thanks to Co-op members for playing a big part in making this happen.
Every time our members buy Co-op branded products, 2p in every £1 spent is shared between Co-op’s Local Community Fund and our Community Partnerships Fund, creating financial support for initiatives that will directly impact us all.
For more information on The Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations and advice for those interested in setting up a community fridge, visit https://co-operate.coop.co.uk/food/