Since the economic downturn in Europe, people who are struggling to make ends meet have been turning to social supermarkets for supplies. Britain’s first social supermarket, the Community Shop, is a subsidiary of the Company Shop, the country’s largest commercial re-distributor of surplus food and goods.
Food found at stores that has nothing perceivably wrong with it, expect perhaps minor packaging flaws or a near future expiration date are the kinds of products on offer. The Community Shop recently opened in an impoverished town in South Yorkshire, and has set a goal to get customers out of poverty and on their way back to shopping at traditional grocery stores. Individuals who shop at the store will also have access to magnitude of services, such as cookery skills, home budgeting and debt advice.
In order to make sure the services are benefiting the targeted demographic, store memberships are limited to those who already receive some type of welfare support. So instead of giving away free food – which can sometimes diminish one’s self-esteem – the store lets people pick and choose the foods they want. However, the store’s selection varies from day to day, and some items – oil, butter, and flour – can be harder to come by.
The Company Shop hopes to open Community Shops in London next year should the pilot prove successful.
Source, Images: The Salt