Iceland has teamed up with Birds Eye and Currys to hand out free freezers to low-income families amid the cost of living crisis. The new project has been launched to help people access frozen foods and lower the cost of their food shops.
The partnership comes as new research by Manchester Metropolitan University shows that families who switch from fresh to frozen food halve their food waste and reduce grocery bills by almost a quarter. However, Turn2us a national charity that helps people in financial hardship and says that around one in ten UK houses are currently living without a freezer.
Iceland’s new pilot scheme will provide low-income families with freezers, as well as information, recipes and support, before exploring the impact on their household finances and eating habits.
Iceland’s executive chairman, Richard Walker said: “The cost-of-living crisis is a concern for households across the UK and we know many people will be looking for ways to lower the cost of their food shop.
“This unique community project will help families with barriers to freezer ownership, and we hope that we will find that families can save money and improve their diets when they are able to access and use freezers and frozen food.”
The pilot project is taking place in Salford and is being run with Clarion Housing Group, the largest social landlord in the country. It will then be evaluated by Manchester Metropolitan University, with the aim of supporting families to adopt a more affordable and healthy diet, before replicating the scheme in communities across the UK.
Freezers will be donated by Currys in consultation with each household to identify the best solution for them based on their needs, available space and energy use, helping to mitigate the impact of energy price rises.
Birds Eye general manager Steve Challouma added: “Birds Eye is committed to serving the world with better food, and this ambition applies to all communities within the UK.
“We know that in times of financial stress households turn to frozen food more than ever, and that this is due in part to these valuable benefits. By making healthy options more convenient, and by reducing food waste, we hope that this project succeeds in helping participating families and households adopt healthier and more affordable eating habits.”
Iceland free freezers – how to claim
At the moment Iceland’s free freezer project is only being trialled in Salford, Manchester at certain housing associations. However, the budget supermarket hopes to expand across the UK shortly.