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University, retailers and landlord team up to provide free freezers to low-income families

In the UK, three brands are partnering with a university and a housing group to help families survive the cost of living crisis. Their initiative is centered around increasing access to frozen food for low-income households. Electronics seller Currys is donating freezers, with frozen food grocer Iceland and producer Birdseye providing recipe cards, tips and cooking classes.

The giveaway is limited to 30 households in Salford, Greater Manchester; all live in social housing managed by Clarion Housing Group. The housing association selected tenants and helped develop the support they'll be offered. Clarion gathered input from resident focus groups to ensure the real needs of low-income families are addressed.

Lastly, nutritionists from Manchester Metropolitan University will evaluate this pilot project and publish their findings in a white paper that could lead to the scheme being replicated in communities across the UK.

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Freezers come with savings built in: in a small study commissioned by Iceland in 2018, the Food and Nutrition department at Manchester Metropolitan University found that families saved 29.9% by choosing frozen over fresh food

While handing out 30 free appliances will only help a tiny fraction of the people who need assistance — in November 2022, 11% of UK adults 'reported being hungry in the past month because they lacked enough money to buy food' — it demonstrates brands are rethinking how to help customers save.

Economic savings can come with an unexpected serving of sustainability, too. Manchester Met's study reported that families were able to reduce their food waste by 47.5% by incorporating more frozen foods into their diets.