How to apply for funding to set up a Community Fridge 

Organisations in Orkney could receive funding and support for the setting up of a Community Fridge.

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, with 460,000 visitors per year. Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network is set to double in size thanks to funding from Co-op 

Each established Community Fridge has already 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.   

Liam Sweeney, Creative Partner at Hubbub, said:

“ 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.” 

Readers will recall that plans are well underway for Orkney’s First Community Fridge

Who can apply?

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. Successful groups will receive £4,000 funding, free support to set up the fridge along with 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 access to discounted fridges and freezers. 

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:     

Ed Powell, Mission Manager 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”

Co-op and Hubbub Partnership, Failsworth, 17th May 2021

Grassroots projects wanting more information about applying for the next round of the Co-op’s Local Community Fund should visit Co-op Causes UK. The Local Community Fund will be supports causes which support fairer access to food, mental wellbeing services, education and employment for young people in their communities. To learn more about Co-op Membership and select a cause to support, visit:   

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