2022 is set to be a big year for Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network, as funding from Co-op will enable the UK-wide network to double in size. To kick start the process, Hubbub and Co-op are calling on communities to apply for grants for the first 100 fridges, by 1st February.
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. The Community Fridge Network was set up by environmental charity Hubbub in 2017 and there are now 250 fridges across the UK, welcoming 460,000 visitors per year. Each Community Fridge redistributed an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month in 2020, and with Co-op’s commitment to double the network, the fridges could collectively save a total of 34 million meals from going to waste annually.
Applications for grants are open to community groups and not for profit organisations which are in a position to set up their community fridge in the next six months. Food alliances can play an important part by making sure the community groups they work with are aware of this fantastic opportunity to get involved. Successful groups will receive £4,000 funding, support to set up the fridge and membership to Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network, which offers free guidance to community fridge organisers including design assets, peer support, health and safety templates as well as discounted fridges and freezers.
Liam Sweeney, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said:
“With our network of fridges already supporting so many people across the UK, we want to make sure that all regions have access to what is becoming an invaluable asset in communities. A Community Fridge is so much more than just a fridge. They are instrumental in bringing people together to share skills, build friendships and support one another, all whilst doing their bit to save the planet.”
Ed Powell, Mission Manger at Co-op, said:
“It has been thrilling to support the rapid growth of the Community Fridge Network across the UK and to see the positive impact that the redistribution of fresh, healthy food can have. The existing Community Fridges are run by a wide range of groups – from schools and universities to community centres and faith groups. We’d like to see applications for the current round of funding come from a broad range of groups, especially from groups who might not normally consider running a food project, to bring this brilliant concept to even more communities across the UK.”
For more information on the Community Fridge Network, including a map of fridge locations, advice for those interested in setting up a community fridge, and more information on applying for grant funding visit: www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge