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Posted on 13th January 2023

Affordable Food Clubs Impact Report

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This data is from end of November 2022. The photo shows the Queen of Greens affordable greengrocers in Liverpool.

Feeding Britain has, in partnership with like-minded organisations, supported the development of 226  affordable food clubs – encompassing pantries, larders, and social supermarkets – across our network. In the three months since our last report, we have worked with regional and local partners to open 47 new settings. This growth is due to many factors including rising demand, an increasing recognition of the benefits of these models and Feeding Britain’s Community Food Fund. These 226 settings make food and other essentials more affordable and accessible to their approximately 40,000 member households, helping members to stretch their budgets further while preventing at least some of the need for food banks. They also offer wrap-around support including expert advice, cooking activities, Credit Union services and holiday programmes.

Staff and volunteers cautiously estimate that those households are collectively saving millions of pounds each year through the affordable food clubs. Management data collated by staff and volunteers suggest that, on average, households spend £5.47 each time they visit and take home food and other items worth approximately £21.64. Compared to last quarter, we are seeing members shopping more regularly and spending more money in the food clubs.

Food Club member: “Thank you so much for this little shop – it has helped our family so much. This is a godsend for myself at the moment as I struggle with social anxiety and depression and find getting out very difficult. Thank you

Case study: The customer is a single mum, she works part-time and is on Universal Credit, but she still finds it difficult to cover all her household expenses.  She told us that she was thrilled with the Food Club, ‘’it’s amazing! The savings I make here on food I put towards my gas, that way I can take the chill off in the morning before my son goes to school. I think it’s a wonderful idea.’’

Case study: An 85 year-old senior citizen recently registered. She mentioned that she never approached the food bank during the pandemic as her pension was enough for her needs. But now, the cost of living and energy bills have gone so high. She said she likes the idea of the Food Club which has given her dignity. She likes that she is paying something as a contribution and getting the healthy, daily food she needs.”

Affordable Food Club Manager: “The need for the service is increasing, we are seeing more “working poor” and pensioners. The cost of living crisis is really starting to bite hard across society.” 
To find out more please contact rose.bray@feedingbritain.org

Photo: Fruit and vegetables at the Brooklands Community Shop, Jaywick.