A new “Social Supermarket” has opened its doors to benefit claimants struggling to get by with the high price of food.
Community Shop will sell cut-price food donated from Britain’s major supermarkets at 70% less than normal prices, reports the Telegraph.
Britain’s first cooperative aimed at helping some of the poorest people in society will be available to members, with only those in receipt of state benefits able to join.
The first store opened its doors to 750 members in Lambeth, south-east London, with a further 20 stores planned around the country. And follows a successful pilot in Goldthorpe, south Yorkshire, where one in five members have since moved into work.
The scheme will also provide debt support and information to job seekers looking for work, as well as on-site cooking advice.
According to the Telegraph, the scheme is supported by a number of the biggest supermarkets, including Tesco and Asda, and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson told the Telegraph: “This is a sterling example of social enterprise and private organisations working together to create positive outcomes.
“We hope this is the first in a chain of outlets in the capital that will provide access to affordable food for people struggling to make ends meet whilst providing help back into work.”
John Marren, chairman of Company ShopGroup, which runs the scheme, added: “Members can shop for good food at great prices, which eases pressure on their family budgets, and they will also access tailored, professional development programmes, to kick-start positive change in their own lives.”
The food bank Trussell Trust gave out more than 900,000 three-days worth of food to struggling households in the last year.
Despite the shocking extent of people requiring food aid in the UK, Work and Pensions Secretary described the number as “tiny” compared to Germany.
Any attempt to help support some of the poorest members in society is likely to be warmly welcomed by charities.