News from the Field

Feeding, Food

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Social SupermarketsOver the past year, due to the financial impact ofthe Covid 19 pandemic, food poverty in the UKincreased dramatically. Foodbanks found thataround half of the households having to turn tothem have never needed them before. Over thewinter, 6 food parcels were given out everyminute. When financial hardship hitshouseholds, as well as foodbanks being therefor you, there is also Social Supermarkets.What is a Social Supermarket?Social Supermarkets all run slightly differentlybut they all follow a basic model. A weeklymembership is paid, which is normally around£4, and that allows you to go to the supermarketand collect your shopping. Typically you recieveabout £20 worth of food. You don’t need afoodbank voucher to access the service butthere may be some criteria you have to meet toensure the service is helping those who truleyneed it.What Food Will I Recieve?Generally, social supermarkets are stoked from donations but mainly from surplus stock fromother supermarkets and stores local to them. The food is in date and of good quality. Usingsurplus stock allows the membership prices to stay very low and it also reduces food waste.You take a trolley and go around the social supermarket to choose what you need for yourweeky shop.Why do we Need Social Supermarkets?Social Supermarkets are a step ‘up’ from foodbanks. Foodbanks provide a one offemergency bag of essentials, which you need a voucher for. Whereas social supermarketsare membership based and a slightly longer term solution to the food poverty (6 monthsinitially normally). Alongside the social supermarket, indidivudals are also able to offerservices such as; free debt counselling, employability training, community allotments. Theaim is to equip and help people out of their financial insecurity and to eliminate the need forsocial supermarkets and foodbanks whilst providing them with a reasonable amount ofhealthy varied food.

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