Britain's 1st 'social supermarket' to open its doors in Barnsley

Britain's first 'social supermarket' will open today. The Barnsley store will offer cut price groceries to those on the cusp of food poverty. The shop will be open to members who live in certain postcodes and are in receipt of welfare support.

'Social supermarket' will offer training to shoppers

The social supermarket model is well established in Europe, with around 1,000 stores concentrated in France and Austria, a spokesman said.

Shoppers will also be offered training. Credit: Stephen Rafferty/Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Shoppers will also be offered “a route back to mainstream shopping” through programmes of tailored support, to provide members with debt advice, cookery skills, home budgeting and CV writing.

The Community Shop is a subsidiary of Company Shop, the UK’s largest commercial redistributor of surplus food and goods, the Yorkshire Post reported.

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Read: Britain's 1st 'social supermarket' to open its doors in Barnsley

'Social supermarket' food from supply chain errors

'Social supermarket' food is in date Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Community Shop's surpluses are created in the supply chain by forecasting errors, seasonal promotions and packaging faults.

Food at the 'social supermarket' will be within date and wholesome, a spokesman told the Yorkshire Post.

The business holds the highest food safety accreditation standard, he added.

Read: Britain's 1st 'social supermarket' to open its doors in Barnsley

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Your view: Social supermarkets and surplus food

As Britain's first 'social supermarket' opens its doors in Barnsley, ITV News asked viewers whether they thought it was a good idea to offer cut price groceries to those close to food poverty.

It's a good idea to stop food wastage, but why can't it be sold in the normal supermarkets. Again this is just another way of dividing people.

– Martine Fontenelle

Brilliant idea. So long as only the really needy are allowed to shop there. A hard one to police.

How can they stop people who aren't really struggling from shopping there?

– Lucy Alford

Wouldn't it be better to cut prices for everyone?

It's not just people on benefits, low wage earners and everyone else for that matter cannot keep up with the ever soaring prices

– Sandra Craske

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Campaigner: First social supermarket a 'great idea'

An anti-poverty campaigner has praised the first community supermarket as a "great idea" and added that restrictions on who could use the resource were "right".

Food bank
Anti-hunger campaigner Jack Monroe said the community supermarket was a "great idea" Credit: Daybreak

Jack Monroe, who has been posting thrifty recipes online after she was forced to support herself and her young son on benefits, said food banks were only available to those in dire straights as well.

"With food bank referrals you are assessed on the basis of need. You can't just turn up to a food bank, you need to be identified as needing it," she told Daybreak.

"I think this works in the same way, in that it is not a free-for-all. It is for people that actually need that saving."

Surplus food from retailer can deliver 'social good'

Community Shop Spokesperson Sarah Dunwell explained that surplus food from retailers and supermarkets can deliver "social good".

She said: "With many families facing tough times in Barnsley, Company Shop wanted to do more to match surplus stock with people who really need it. So I was delighted to join the team to help develop and deliver the UK's first social supermarket."

The Community Shop will be opening its doors today. Credit: ITV News Calendar

She added: "Industry surplus is hard to avoid, but what Community Shop shows is that if we all work together we can make sure that surplus food delivers lasting social good.

"We are all very proud to launch Community Shop today and we look forward to partnering with the retail industry to make this a success during the pilot phase and beyond."

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Britain's first 'social supermarket' to open its doors

Britain's first 'social supermarket' is to open its doors today in Barnsley.

The Community Shop in Goldthorpe will provide shoppers on the verge of food poverty with access to food at up to 70 percent less than normal prices.

Britain's first 'social supermarket' will open today in Barnsley. Credit: Press Association

Membership of the pilot store will be open to people living in specific postcode areas and those in receipt of welfare support. Individuals that shop at Community Shop will also be offered services including debt advice, cookery skills, home budgeting and CV writing.