Sainsbury’s has partnered with Bosch and food charity, Hubbub, to create a Community Fridge Network which hopes to tackle food waste.

A Community Fridge is a fridge which sits in a residential area and is stocked with surplus food from local businesses and households. It is open to anyone in the community who needs it.

After successful trials in Spain and Germany, Sainsbury’s funded a pilot in Swadlincote, Derbyshire last year. Now the first five fridges will open this month in Milton Keynes, Manor House, Leytonstone and Old Street, as well as a location in Northern Ireland. The plan to roll out a further 50 fridges across the country over the next year, with 30 locations already confirmed.

According to Wrap.org, £13 billion worth of food is thrown away by UK households every year, while £3 billion is wasted by the hospitality and food service sector.

“Following on from the huge success of the Swadlincote pilot – which saw over 9,000 items of food redistributed in just seven months – we are delighted to support The Community Fridge Network,” said Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering & energy of Sainsbury's. “This innovative trial has shown us that one small town can save over 500kg of food every month so this is a fantastic opportunity for even more people to reduce their food waste and save money. As a business, we are committed to helping our customers reduce their food waste via our Waste less, Save more campaign, while at the same time we are always looking for ways for us to reduce our own food surplus.”

He added: “Up until now, we’ve been providing over 1,000 local charities up and down the UK with surplus food that doesn’t need refrigeration – so this now gives us the opportunity to provide chilled surplus food to those that need it most.”