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The Salford supermarket where you can do a weekly shop for £2.50

This is Salford’s first ‘social supermarket’ - where people battling to pay their bills can do a weekly shop for just £2.50 Credit: Manchester Evening News

This is Salford’s first ‘social supermarket’ - where people battling to pay their bills can do a weekly shop for just £2.50.

Lucie’s Pantry in Pendleton opened less than three weeks ago, but is already helping hundreds of people stay afloat.

The store, set up by homeless charity Emmaus, provides fresh food and household essentials to people living on the breadline, in the hope of preventing them becoming homeless too.

Within days of its opening, more than 70 residents had become regular customers.

A membership fee of just £2.50 a week entitles people to £15 worth of shopping every Wednesday, Friday or Sunday.

Food from the charity Fareshare makes up the bulk of the stock, while other donations also include sanitary products, household essentials and pet food, meaning people can do a full weekly shop for a fraction of the normal price.

Simon Locke, community leader at Emmaus Salford, said the store is more than a food bank - because its members don't just get handed a parcel.

Emmaus is a network of communities made up of formerly homeless people, all living and working together.

By growing their own food, up-cycling furniture and working in its charity shop, over time people gain the confidence and skills to go it alone.

This is the first time it has set up a ‘superstore’, however, in the hope of helping other people avoid homelessness.

Simon said poverty in the area is getting worse.

Food banks are so busy, they bag everything up so people have a couple of days’ worth. It gets packed up and given to you.

The difference with this is you’re a customer. You can choose.

The people coming to the pantry may be working, might live in a large household but are struggling to make ends meet and are planning what they do.

People feel comfortable and not embarrassed and have a sense of pride.

It’s like the old co-operative movement, because people are paying something in and there is a solidarity in the community you’re part of. You’re helping your fellow man too.

– Simon Locke, Community Leader at Emmaus Salford
This is Salford’s first ‘social supermarket’ - where people battling to pay their bills can do a weekly shop for just £2.50 Credit: Manchester Evening News

The store is not only packed full of tinned goods, but also fresh fruit and veg, baby food, meat, cakes and cheese.

Kat Bowen, 29, has been going to the store with her 18-month-old son Jaxon since it opened, after being referred by a housing officer.

We’re on a low income - it’s just me and him. I’m doing absolutely everything on my own. Jaxon has nothing to do with his dad and I’m not getting support from my family, so it’s hard. But it’s hard for everyone else too. I can get a lot for my money here and pretty much everything we need. The meat helps in particular, because meat is so expensive. When I’m in here I know whatever I get is going to be £2.50. If I went to the shops and got half the stuff I’m getting it would be £20, probably more.

– Kat Bowen
This is Salford’s first ‘social supermarket’ - where people battling to pay their bills can do a weekly shop for just £2.50 Credit: Manchester Evening News