We’ve started celebrating Christmas early here in the Feeding Britain office, with the news that we have been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to support our pilots in Coventry and Cheshire West.
The funding, from the Lottery’s Help Through Crisis programme, will allow us to pilot two new models of Citizen’s Supermarkets, to help people access good quality, affordable food with dignity.
Feeding Coventry will be establishing a community-run shop in a deprived part of Coventry, which will sell healthy food at a fraction of the market rate. The Citizens’ Supermarket will also include a community café, and will become a hub where advice services and other charities can help people to get back on their feet and address the underlying challenges they are facing.
The Welcome Network, our pilot in Chester and Cheshire West, will develop a series of smaller scale community food hubs, known as Meeting Places. These will transform the existing food bank distribution sites into community-led spaces, where people from all backgrounds can come together on an equal footing to enjoy good food and support one another. Each of the hubs will be based around food, either community meals or small-scale food pantries where people can access low-cost food, and will also provide wider support services.
We’ll be evaluating and testing each of these models, to draw out the learning and identify what can be replicated in other areas. Along with the upcoming Birkenhead Citizens’ Supermarket, which is due to open in early 2018, these projects present a real opportunity to pilot innovative and sustainable solutions to food poverty.
We’ll keep you updated on progress as the projects get underway, and we hope that this is just the beginning of a wider network of Citizen’s Supermarkets across Feeding Britain that will help to ensure that no one goes hungry in the UK.