Social Supermarkets Over the past year, due to the financial impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, food poverty in the UK increased dramatically. Foodbanks found that around half of the households having to turn to them have never needed them before. Over the winter, 6 food parcels were given out every minute. When financial hardship hits households, as well as foodbanks being there for you, there is also Social Supermarkets. What is a Social Supermarket? Social Supermarkets all run slightly differently but they all follow a basic model. A weekly membership is paid, which is normally around £4, and that allows you to go to the supermarket and collect your shopping. Typically you recieve about £20 worth of food. You don’t need a foodbank voucher to access the service but there may be some criteria you have to meet to ensure the service is helping those who truley need it. What Food Will I Recieve? Generally, social supermarkets are stoked from donations but mainly from surplus stock from other supermarkets and stores local to them. The food is in date and of good quality. Using surplus 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 your weeky shop. Why do we Need Social Supermarkets? Social Supermarkets are a step ‘up’ from foodbanks. Foodbanks provide a one off emergency bag of essentials, which you need a voucher for. Whereas social supermarkets are membership based and a slightly longer term solution to the food poverty (6 months initially normally). Alongside the social supermarket, indidivudals are also able to offer services such as; free debt counselling, employability training, community allotments. The aim is to equip and help people out of their financial insecurity and to eliminate the need for social supermarkets and foodbanks whilst providing them with a reasonable amount of healthy varied food.