Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has supported the opening of the first community fridge in his hometown of Wythenshawe.
The Co-Op, along with charity Hubbub, has launc hed the scheme to provide a new source of fresh food, as well as connecting communities using workshops on how to grow your own fruit and vegetables.
There are plans to open a further 250 fridges over the next year, saving a further 6.8 million meals per year from going to waste.
Marcus Rashford MBE said: “The Co-op is a valuable founding member of the Child Food Poverty Taskforce and has consistently stepped up to the plate throughout the Global pandemic to support our most vulnerable families. They have demonstrated how community action can make real sustainable change and just how powerful we can be when we come together.
“Together with Hubbub, the Co-op has developed a programme that spans far beyond access to food and I’m so excited to see that my own community in Wythenshawe will benefit.”
The Co-Op as well as several other businesses, will fill the fridges with donations of surplus stock, such as potatoes, bread and other fundamental ingredients.
Speaking of the growing concept, Tessa Tricks, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub, said: “These fridges play a vital role in communities across the UK by not only providing access to good quality food while reducing food waste but by bringing people together to share and learn from one another.
“In the past year, many of the fridges have provided a lifeline to families struggling as a result of the pandemic and we have seen the fridges turn into a place where people come together and support each other to tackle whatever challenges are thrown at them. They really are more than just a fridge.”
The campaign also removes the need to prove ‘eligibility’ to use the scheme, like many food banks require to ensure stock goes to the right homes.
The fridge can be found at: Benchill Community Centre, Benchill Rd, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 8EJ