At the end of last month, our Community Relations team attended the Evelyn Ward Assembly meeting to help local campaigners succeed win support from their fellow residents for the People’s Supermarket scheme, as part of our ongoing commitment to our local community.
We have been working with Evelyn TRA and Community Action Centre 2000 to create a People’s Supermarket in the Evelyn Ward. This is a model developed by charity Fareshare to redistribute surplus food from major food retailers to charities and community groups around the country. Food banks often have a lack of healthy options, and users often feel stigmatised. The People’s Supermarket operates on a membership basis so beneficiaries have a real stake in the project. The food redistributed is fresh and of a high quality, making it healthier in the long term.
The scheme is also sustainable in the long-term thanks to the membership model, with all members paying a small weekly subscription. Members benefit from this source of healthy and affordable groceries, saving up to £30 per week.
In addition to this service, the People’s Supermarket will become a focal point for other community services. Employment advice, cooking classes and other health and wellbeing services will be available alongside the supermarket. It will be predominantly run by volunteers who will be given basic retail and food hygiene training.
Moira Kerrane of 2000 Community Action Centre and Keith Walton from Evelyn Community Centre applied for funding from Evelyn Ward Assembly of up to £3,500 to fund a development worker. This will ensure the set up and referral process is sound and managed effectively from the start. They can also coordinate additional food pick ups from a local supermarket.
Local reisdents voted on various ideas for funding at the Assembly meeting. Thanks to the hard work of Moira, Keith and the Community Relations team, the People’s Supermarket received the highest number of votes and secured the funding. Congratulations to all involved.
The supermarket is due to open before Christmas so residents will be able to utilise this service in the coming months.