Community Fridges to go beyond food redistribution with funding boost

Environmental charity Hubbub is broadening the impact of the Community Fridge Network, through food hub funding which will help local residents to learn new food and growing skills and connect with their neighbours.

Last year, with support from the Rothschild Foundation, Hubbub piloted food hubs at 14 community fridges. Participants reported adopting a more varied diet, discovering new recipes and feeling more connected to their local community.

Following the pilot, 50 more community fridges were awarded food hub funding with support from Co-op and the Starbucks Foundation.

Starbucks has committed £350,000 of funding to be made available to a further 50 community fridges across the UK. The grants are being supported by the Starbucks® 5p cup charge which is applied when a customer chooses to use a single-use cup. Starbucks has donated all funds to Hubbub to support stronger, greener communities.

Starbucks will support the development of 50 food projects over the coming months across the following themes:

  • Skills – To give the community an opportunity to up-skill and learn about sustainable, affordable, and healthy living through workshops, events, cookbooks, or how-to-guides.
  • Affordable food – To help fridge visitors discover new ways to increase access to local and affordable food through food cooperatives, food box schemes or food markets.
  • Community Connection – To provide opportunity for communities to come together around shared food through community meals, coffee and chats, youth activities, and recipe shares.
  • Growing – To support community growing and increase the amount of edible food grown and shared locally through community gardens, greening projects and seed or plant sharing.

The funding is available to community fridges that are already open and running. Community fridge groups can apply for funding from 31st March via the Hubbub website at

Community fridges are social spaces where anyone can share surplus food, this includes surpl

us food from supermarkets, local food businesses, producers, households and gardens. They not only reduce food waste but empower communities to come together and help one another.

The network has grown through a strategic partnership and significant investment and support from Co-op, who are committed to ensuring communities have fairer access to food. There are now more than 450 Community Fridges across the UK, from inner city community centres to rural village halls, universities and schools.

Ellen Rutherford, Head of Food at Hubbub said: “We’ve always believed that a community fridge is more than just a fridge and the new food hub funding shows how they are evolving. From the trial last year, it’s clear there’s an appetite from people to know
more about their food and how to get the most out of it. The generous ongoing support of Starbucks and Co-op will give visitors the opportunity to do just that, with the added bonus of saving money and doing their bit for the environment.”

Jacqui Wetherly, Director of Sustainability at Starbucks said: “Every day, across the globe, our partners support the communities in our stores and the neighbourhoods we are a part of. We’re proud to be supporting the expansion of food hub activities at fifty
Community Fridges across the UK, as part of our continued partnership with Hubbub.”

Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Member Participation at Co-op said: “As a co-operative, we recognise our responsibility to make a genuine difference and believe that everybody should have access to good food. We’re pleased to be working with Hubbub to introduce the new food hub funding to ensure more people can come together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste.”

UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of which is edible.* The value of this wasted food is £14 billion – meaning the average person throws away around £210 per year/£730 for a family of four.** As the cost of living crisis continues, many of the Community Fridges have provided a lifeline to people struggling to feed their

In 2022, the Community Fridge Network stopped an estimated 7129 tonnes of food going to waste, and shared 16.9 million meals worth of food.

For more information about the Community Fridge Network and the new food hub funding, visit:

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