A deeply discounted food store, which opened today in Leicester, is set to make “a drastic difference” to over 750 people living on the cusp of food poverty within the city.
Community Shop, an award winning social enterprise opened its newest store today (April 6), on Leicester’s Stocking Farm estate.
The store on Marwood Road, was officially opened by Peter Soulsby, Leicester’s City Mayor, after which hundreds of new members from across the local community were welcomed inside for the first time.
The support on offer, which includes access to deeply discounted surplus food and household products, is set to make “a drastic difference” to over 750 people on the cusp of food poverty in Leicester, say those behind the project.
“When a family arrives, immediately they save £212 on the shopping bill. It means that they can take a breather and the pressure’s off a bit”, said Gary Scott, executive chair of Community Shop, which operates a total of eight supermarkets across England.
“I think everybody and every household in the UK feels quite acutely the cost of living crisis, but for those families who were already just about managing it pinches even harder”, he added.
“The situation in Leicester is very similar to the national picture, and I think what that means is that those families who have just about been managing for many years, in the context of this cost of living crisis, pushes people ever closer to that food poverty.
“We work in partnership with lots of other organisations, we are one model among many, and we think there’s always a need for those other models like pantries and foodbanks, but the social supermarket model is about providing dignified and sustainable food access over a longer period of time”.
The food items being sold at Community Shop, are those which would otherwise have gone to waste, courtesy of local businesses like and Ocado and Samworth Brothers.
They include a large range of essential items like bread, milk, fruit & vegetables, which are sold for just 20p each.
The shop has opened at a time when food and energy prices have soared.
The price of four pints of milk is set to jump from around £1.15 to £1.65 it has been announced.
One pensioner who spoke to Pukaar News, was full of praise for the scheme, which he says will allow him not only get more for his money, but also to eat more healthy in these difficult times.
“For me to go to a supermarket for what I paid for this, it would cost me far more, and being a pensioner this is a brilliant thing that’s happening”, he said.
“It’s not only brilliant for pensioners, but also for single mothers with children. Children need to be fed, especially in these times”, he added. “It’s been so hard”.
Other support on the Community Shop site, includes a community kitchen with its own chef, which will serve meals at low prices, while kids can eat for free.
A Community Hub will also provide learning and development opportunities, which will be funded by in-store revenue.
A multi-purpose Community Space will also be used for events throughout the year, which are aimed at bringing people together.
To find out more, visit: https://www.companyshopgroup.co.uk/