Reducing food waste and empowering communities

A community fridge is a space where everyone can share surplus food, including donations from local food businesses, producers, households and gardens.

Hubbub coordinates the world’s largest Community Fridge Network with over 150 community fridges running around the UK. And thanks to Co-op, we'll be supporting a further 100 across the UK throughout the year!

The Community Fridge Network offers free guidance to groups wanting to set up their own community fridge, and provides comprehensive support, design assets, peer support, health and safety templates as well as discounted fridges and freezers! Read on to find or start your local fridge.

Annually The Community Fridge Network:

  • Redistributes around 3,145 tonnes of surplus food, that's the equivalent of 7,489,762 meals*!
  • Welcomes over 185,000 visitors

Our community fridges also do so much more than redistribute food, they help people to share skills, stuff and make friends! Find out more about our impact here.

About the network

Find out how it started, our ethos and how we support community organisations

Find a fridge near me

Check out where your nearest community fridge is using our map of UK fridges

Donate food

If you're a food business or individual, see how you can support your nearest fridge with food donations

Become a member

If you'd like to set up your own fridge project locally, you can access support and advice by becoming a member

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About the Community Fridge Network

Hubbub coordinates the world’s largest Community Fridge Network with over 150 community fridges running around the UK, and plenty more setting up. We offer comprehensive free support to groups to set up their own community fridge, from sign up and set up through to ongoing information and events to connect and celebrate with other fridges. 

We first trialled the concept in Derbyshire, UK in 2016. At the time there were similar schemes in other countries like Spain and India, but none existed in the UK. As we developed the fridge model, the interest generated from community organisations, businesses and local authorities was immense. We received emails from community groups across the country (and globe!) wanting to set up fridges.

In 2017, to meet this demand, we founded the Community Fridge Network to help any individual or group to set up and run safe, inclusive and impactful fridges.

Now in 2021, we have an exciting new partnership with Co-op, helping to expand the network to 250 community fridges over the next year.

A community fridge can be accessed by anyone and everyone who wants to share food, volunteer or get involved with other food, environment or related activities the group have to offer. There are some rules on what you can and cannot put in the fridge (for health and safety reasons) so make sure to check in advance before you visit.

Find, start or donate to your local community fridge. And follow the campaign on social media with the hashtag #CommunityFridge.

Find a fridge near me

Use our UK fridge map below to find your nearest community fridge and here are a few ways you can get involved:

  • Spread the word with the hashtag #CommunityFridge.
  • Share surplus food that you’re not going to use, perhaps you’re a gardener, you're going on holiday or you're just about to move house.
  • Take food from the fridge to save you buying new and help reduce food waste.
  • Volunteer your time to support your local community fridge – you can help collect surplus food from shops, come up with plans for fundraising, promote the initiative locally or develop their activities!

 

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Donate food

Each community fridge in our network rescues good quality, surplus food, free of charge from local food retailers, producers, growers, restaurants and households. By upholding the highest food hygiene standards and having a strict policy on low-risk food items, our groups can provide assurances to both the businesses donating, and visitors of the fridge sharing food.

We are proud to work with some fantastic partners who play a vital role in supporting this sharing of food, and we're keen to develop more local connections with food growers, manufacturers and retailers who, by sharing quality excess food, not only reduce wasted food and disposal costs, but directly support their local community. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, get in touch to discuss how we can work together.

How to start your own fridge: become a member

If you're thinking about starting your own community fridge project, or have one already and would like to join the network to access all our membership benefits, then you're in luck! To get started simply:

  1. Send us an email at [email protected] to find out how to get started.
  2. Join the open community fridge Facebook group here.
  3. A member of our team will be in touch to discuss your next steps.

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Network impact: the difference made

Since Nov 2019, the Community Fridge Network (CFN) redistributed the equivalent of over 9 million meals* (over 4,000 tonnes of food surplus) to over 250,000 visitors.

With each fridge sharing an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month, the collective impact of the Community Fridge Network is huge. What’s more important though, are the stories that we hear from communities. The fridges bring people together, address social isolation and provide people with the opportunity to access healthy food, try something new and save money.

In a nutshell, a fridge is often so much more than a fridge. As well as introducing you to new people and foods, community fridges host all kinds of activities such as cooking workshops, food growing, clothes swaps... you name it.

The wonderful partnerships and impact being made by the network has also won awards! Our trophy shelf (or fridge) contains...

Retailers redistributing surplus food across the network include Co-op, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose, Costa, Marks & Spencer, Riverford Organic, Spar, and many local businesses.

Read and download the full impact report for 2020/2021.

Want to find more ways to support your community and the environment?

Check out Community Calling, our smartphone redistribution campaign, or In Our Nature, an exciting community-led campaign across Manchester, to help residents respond to the climate emergency.

We've also got hundreds of other tips and ideas for things we can do every day to live more sustainably, like making food go further and eating more seasonally. 

*WRAP Love Food Hate Waste May 2020
Read the terms & conditions of the Community Fridge Network here.