Co-op ‘bins’ this year’s Christmas TV ad to put spotlight on food waste

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Instead of a traditional supermarket multi-million-pound TV commercial, this Christmas, Co-op will shed a light on the power of real communities in real time.

As part of its commitment to reduce food waste and help more people get the meal they deserve this Christmas, tonight (26th Nov), Co-op will be interrupting ITV’s Coronation Street to host a live link to a Community Fridge within the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association Community Centre in Feltham.

There, TV personality, Dermot O’Leary alongside TV chef and rapper Big Zuu will put the spotlight on that local community and how a fridge is bringing people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste.

The Community Fridge Network was set up by environmental charity Hubbub in 2016. Each Community Fridge redistributes an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month.

Now, Co-op is committing to doubling Hubbub’s network of fridges, by funding a further 250, which will save a total of 34 million meals from going to waste annually across the network of 500 fridges.

Dermot O’Leary, TV presenter, commented: “Everyone deserves food on their plate all year round not just this Christmas, so I’m pleased to give my support to this initiative. It’s been a horrendous 18 months for a lot of people. This shows the power of communities and what can be achieved when we all come together.”

The fridges which will be open over the festive period are a place where communities can gain access to fresh food, cook together and learn new skills.

Big Zuu, TV Chef and Rapper added: “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.”

This Christmas, and all year round, customers can visit and share surplus food with their local Community Fridge, get involved by volunteering or find out more in-store and online.

Additionally, Co-op is enabling community groups to apply for funding to set up their own Community Fridge through their online community Co-operate (co-operate.coop.co.uk/food).

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.

Ali Jones, Customer and Community Director at Co-op, commented: “Christmas is a great time to shine a spotlight on the things that matter most to us.

“Given the past 18 months and the challenges which clearly lie ahead, we wanted to highlight the importance of community in a real, genuine and positive way.  Our unique live advert will remind people that whilst not everyone can enjoy the same Christmas this year but that by co-operating we can create a fairer world in the future.”

Darius Nasimi, founder and president of KSL Central Asia Society, commented: “These Community fridges connect and bring people together to strengthen communities. Yes, people need access to food, but they also need a sense of belonging, particularly around this time of year. We want to make sure that the right support networks are there for everyone.”

Liam Sweeney, creative partner at Hubbub, said: “Food has always been a way to bring people together – particularly at Christmas! But the role of a Community Fridge goes way beyond its contents. Not only do these fridges provide people with fresh food that would otherwise go to waste but they offer a place for communities to come together, support one another and learn from each other.”