people doing charity work

Case study Community Fridge

Tackling food insecurity through our schools


The Community Fridge at Co-op Academy Failsworth provides for those most in need, particularly deprived families, helping to tackle food insecurity. The initiative also reduces food waste from local supermarkets by redistributing it to the community. In 2022, the Community Fridge Network estimated that across the UK it shared 16.9 million meals and avoided 7,129 tonnes of food waste*.

In 2021, we opened a Community Fridge at Co-op Academy Failsworth, part of our Oldham Schools project. One of the first projects of its type in the UK, the Community Fridge at Failsworth provides for families attending the school as well as the wider community.


We established an Education Taskforce to understand the main challenges faced by the schools in our portfolio. It was clear that food insecurity was a major issue for many, so we launched the initiative at Co-op Academy Failsworth,

HICL, the London-listed investment company managed by InfraRed, funded the community fridge at Co-op Academy Failsworth, and our portfolio impact team has worked closely with pastoral staff at the Academy to ensure its successful launch and operation.

Due to the impact of the project, and its scalability, we are now looking to replicate its success across our wider portfolio of schools within initiatives that address food insecurity.

“No family should have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from but sadly the reality is that many still do, and this can impact upon children’s education. Failsworth is an incredibly close-knit community where people look out for each other. It is fantastic that Co-op Academy Failsworth has joined in this spirit by establishing this Community Fridge.”

Angela Rayner MP for Ashton-under-Lyne


Further reading