Turning its back on the traditional multi-million pound Christmas TV ad, Co-op is instead highlighting community food projects which are helping to tackle the cost of living crisis.

The supermarket has announced a major new partnership with membership-based food scheme Your Local Pantry and has teamed up with TV chef and rapper Big Zuu to stream live from its community hub in Peckham.

The activation is designed to bring the local community together through food by demonstrating simple and nutritious recipes costing only a few pounds, as well as meeting the Local Pantry volunteers and members who are helping their community.

The live stream will also involve an appearance from chef, presenter and author, Miguel Barclay (One Pound Meals) who will share useful tips and tricks to make groceries go further.

The partnership will see the Your Local Pantry network triple within three years from 75 to 225 Pantries across the UK, with the addition of 150 new Pantries to support over 32,000 households.

“Whilst many of our competitors are also adapting their Christmas ads to reflect the mood of the nation in a cost of living crisis, we are going further by pulling our ad altogether,” says Shirine Khoury-Haq, Co-op group CEO. “In doing so we will be shining a light on the need to support vital community causes, throughout the year and not just at Christmas, especially with a deep recession looming.”

We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Co-op, so another 150 neighbourhoods can open Pantries of their own

James Henderson, Your Local Pantry network development coordinator, adds: “Pantries are fantastic places. They bring people together around food, soften the impact of high living costs, and strengthen the power and potential of neighbourhoods. Communities have long wanted to improve food security while upholding dignity, choice and hope, and Pantries are a proven win-win solution. We’re really excited to be teaming up with the Co-op, so another 150 neighbourhoods can open Pantries of their own.”

Commenting on his role, Big Zuu says: “Everyone deserves access to great quality food at affordable prices. I hope that by visiting the Peckham Pantry and cooking up some healthy, tasty and more affordable meals with the team, more people in need will seek out community initiatives like Your Local Pantry.”

Main image (L-R): Big Zuu, Miguel Barclay