Community shop opens in Sussex to combat food poverty

  • Watch the report by ITV Meridian's Tom Savvides

A community shop has opened in East Sussex, as thousands of families in the South East struggle to make ends meet.

The store in Burgess Hill allows people to do a basic weekly shop, which would ordinarily cost around £20, for £4.

Products are donated by organisations and individuals and it allows those on lower incomes to get food and other essentials at much reduced prices.

Suzie Gonzalez is a mother-of-two, who said the pantry has helped her "a great deal."

She said: "Money is always tight especially with two hungry children. I only work part time my partner has been out of work due to coronavirus he's only just started back at work again and it just really helps to keep us topped up."

  • Suzie Gonzalez:

How does the Pantry work?

  • People choose 3 items on the shelves labelled with a heart and 7 with a diamond.

  • Bread, pastries and fresh fruit and vegetables are free.

  • People can visit once a week and pay £4 for their shopping.

Joseph Foster, Chair of Burgess Hill Pantry said many people have seen a drop in their income after being made redundant during the pandemic.

He said: "Even before coronavirus, we know from statistics that many people even here in mid-Sussex, were struggling to put food on the table."

  • Joseph Foster, Chair of Burgess Hill Pantry:

Philip Brown became a member after a short assessment and said before using the shop, he "was finding it hard."

He said: "I got a leaflet through the door and decided to register here. It saved me a fortune."

The Pantry currently provides food to around 200 people and that number is likely to increase.