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As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Feeding Britain is supporting partners across the UK to develop sustainable and dignified approaches to protect people from hunger. From affordable food networks to advice services, from fuel banks to school holiday programmes, your donation will make a real difference to communities across the UK.

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Posted on 3rd October 2022

Summary of Feeding Britain’s affordable food clubs (October 2022)

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Feeding Britain has, in partnership with like-minded organisations, supported the development of 179 affordable food clubs – encompassing pantries, larders, and social supermarkets – across our network. In the three months since our last impact report, we have worked with regional and local partners to open 29 new settings. These 179 settings are making food and other essentials more affordable and accessible to their 29,985 member households, thereby helping them stretch their budgets further while preventing at least some of the need for food banks. 

Staff and volunteers cautiously estimate that, between them, those households are collectively saving hundreds of thousands of pounds each month by visiting affordable food clubs. Management data collated by staff and volunteers suggest that, on average, households spend £5.30 each time they visit and take home food and other items worth approximately £22.60. An increasing number of these settings are offering wider support and activities alongside the provision of affordable food. This includes expert benefits and debt advisors offering appointments on site, credit union savings accounts being opened and topped up on site, community meals and cooking activities, fuel support and school holiday programmes. This wrap-around support is helping to address the wider issues that households may be facing.

One Affordable Food Club Manager comments: “An elderly couple were explaining to me that that particular week they had been paid their pension and all their bills had come out and they didn’t have enough left to buy food. They were so grateful for us being there and were amazed at what we could offer them for £3. The lady loved to bake and the following week she brought us a homemade cake to show how grateful they were for us being able to support them with a food bag.

One Social Supermarket Support Worker adds: “We have realised that a lot of our members actually have some income but it’s just that their outgoings are too high. So, they have some support from Universal Credit, but outgoings are not balanced.

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Images: Top – Members in Bassetlaw choosing fruit and vegetables for their weekly shop. Bottom – A new freezer at the Warrington Food Pantry, so they can offer a wider range of produce to members.