Co-op's ‘Christmas Together with Food’ campaign sees growth in Community Fridge network

The Co-op's Christmas campaign, ‘Christmas Together with Food’ is all about giving thanks and bringing people together through the love of food at this special time of year.

It aims to bring some festive cheer to people’s lives, while as part of the campaign Co-op's partnership with Hubbub, the world's largest Community Fridge network, is to be extended.

A Community Fridge is a social space that brings people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste.

After identifying 100 locations for Community Fridges in 2021, Co-op is to fund the setup of a further 250 by the end of 2023, doubling the size of the UK’s Community Fridge Network to 500 fridge hosts.

The Community Fridge Network offers free guidance to groups wanting to set up their own Community Fridge, and provides support, including discounted fridges and freezers.

Maybe you are a local community organisation or know of one who would like to host a Community Fridge?

There are a number of organisations in the Crewe area already offering food support to the local community. They include St Paul’s Centre’s foodbank in Hightown and the Community Pantry run by Chance Changing Lives at Coronation Crescent.

The pantry offers help to those who are struggling to afford their weekly shop by offering discounted products that have been donated or collected from local supermarkets.

Members of the Community Pantry pay £3 a week to get access to the shelves, where they can choose up to £20 of food items and toiletries or household products.

Some of the pantry’s food offer is stored in large commercial freezers, which have been bought from donated funds. Chance Changing Lives’ Community Pantry is open from 10am to 2pm, Mondays to Friday, at its premises at 11-13 Coronation Crescent.

Chance Changing Lives was one of the Co-op’s recent local causes in the Crewe area and general manager, Michele Parks, says: “We buy frozen meat [for the freezers] and we also pick up from the Co-op and Marks & Spencer at the end of the day.

"Co-op staff have been amazing, and we've got good links with local food share groups.”

"Our pantry has given over 500 member families choice. We believe in choice and dignity, enabling people to stay afloat in difficult times.”

You can find out more about the Community Fridge network and Hubbub here.

And you can read about the work of Chance Changing Lives here.

You can also help Co-op support new Community Fridges and other local causes by taking out Co-op Membership. The Co-op has doubled what goes to community organisations and local causes when members buy selected Co-op products and services, and 2p for every £1 spent goes back to you.

You can find details of Membership here.

Co-op is here to support your local community through fair access to food, mental wellbeing support and opportunity for young people.

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