The first ever live TV ad highlighting how community-based solutions are cutting waste

This year Co-op has decided to bin the traditional approach to Christmas TV adverts and instead will put the spotlight on sharing good quality surplus food. The retailer will host the UK’s first ever live TV advert highlighting how community-based solutions are cutting waste. The live advert will run tonight, on 26th November, during Coronation Street on ITV, taking viewers to a Community Fridge within the Afghanistan and Central Asian Community Centre in Feltham.

This is one of over 200 Community Fridges spread across the UK providing free access to perishable food that would otherwise have been wasted. Co-op is partnering with Hubbub to fund Community Fridges and double the network to 500 fridges across the country saving 34 million meals from going to waste every year.


So much more than 'just a fridge': connecting communities and sharing skills

Community Fridges have become focal points for many people, creating a space where they can have access to free food, a place to meet people, learn new cooking skills, and be somewhere to donate homegrown fruit and veg if they are sufficiently green fingered to have created a surplus.

Community Fridges are springing up in all parts of the UK thanks to the passion of local people determined to make a difference. People like Declan Donnelly, the inspiration behind the Community Fridge in County Antrim which is diverting over a tonne of surplus food from waste every month.

The Co-op TV advert will celebrate their achievements and will feature TV personality, Dermot O’Leary alongside TV chef and rapper Big Zuu. Explaining his support for the campaign Big Zuu said:

“Where I grew up, community was a way of life. People came together to support one another and for me, food is a mechanism for that not just at Christmas, but all year round. It brings people together and ultimately when people come together good things can happen. I’m proud to be working with the Co-op to eradicate food waste and inspire local communities to come together and support each other.”

It is hoped that the coverage will encourage more people to establish Community Fridges in their area, will motivate businesses to donate perishable food that otherwise would have been wasted, and highlight that the fridges are mostly open over Christmas, offering a place where people can gain access to fresh food, cook together and learn new skills.

Support the network and start a community fridge, for free!

To build the network, support from the Co-op is enabling community groups to apply for funding to set up their own Community Fridge through their online community Co-operate. Currently 100 grants for Community Fridges are available for communities to apply for and will be placed in areas where they’ll be most effective.