Community First’s Response to COVID19 during lockdown between April 18th and July 31st was to provide almost 36,000 meals to people across Angus through the Community First S-Mart Grocery Pack Initiative.
We opened the S-Mart Social Supermarket on July 4th 2020 as lock down eased and are fully committed to providing accessible, affordable food in a way that promotes dignity and affordability to those experiencing food and financial insecurity.
Head over to our S-Mart site and find out more about Angus’s First Social Supermarket
When the pandemic COVID19 hit our communities here in Angus we put a call out to our nearest and dearest as well as our Community First Friends and the response was phenomenal. Read on and find out how we, along with a small but dedicated team of volunteers, managed to become the largest emergency food provider to the people of Angus in their time of need.
COMMUNITY FIRST RESPONSE
TO COVID 19
We have all been impacted by the Coronavirus. Circumstances have changed for so many of us one way or another including financially. You might not be struggling to pay your food bills, but aren’t quite so confident you’ll manage the rent, mortgage or energy payment at the end of the month.
With half of us being furloughed, working from home, being on reduced wages or some of us may have even lost our jobs, we all still have mortgages, rent, utilities and food bills.
Well this is where we can offer a helping hand.
Through the Community First COVID-19 S-mart Grocery Pack initiative, we want to alleviate at least some of the worries people are having by providing Free grocery packs twice a week to the people of Angus.
What will the food packs contain?
In your pack you will usually find fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, bread and dairy, as well as dried and tinned goods. Enough to see you and your family through a week. Packs for vegetarians will also be available.
This is a helping hand – please use it.
How do I sign up?
Our phone lines are open between 9-10am every Saturday and Tuesday mornings.
The number to call is 07592626519 (please only call on the specified days and times)
All you need to do is tell us your name and how many people your free grocery pack needs to feed, and we will prepare one for you, ready for collection the same day.
This is absolutely free however as so many people are asking if they can make a donation towards their groceries we suggest a £2 donation either online or when you collect your package. Please note, there is no obligation to do so.
*By accepting these grocery packages you take full responsibility for checking all labelling in case of allergies*
If you would like to make an online donation please click here
Help us create Angus’s first Social Supermarket.
An estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste. … And if food goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a greenhouse gas even more potent than carbon dioxide. About 11% of all the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food. read more
1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year in the UK
250,000 tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible
Too many people are using foodbanks in Angus, too many people struggle to afford their weekly food bill, yet fresh, fully in-date, quality food is thrown away in bulk because of faulty labelling or over-ordering by the big supermarkets.
We want to take the mountain of surplus food currently wasted in Angus each year and create a supermarket with a social impact.
Tackling food poverty by tackling food waste
Why do we want to do this?
An estimated 8.4 MILLION people in the UK are struggling to get enough to eat.
That’s 1 in 4 children which include households in Angus
Yet there is 1.9 million tonnes of food going to landfill every year in the UK and 2/3rds of that food is perfectly edible.
Food-banks in Angus fed 4,627 people last year (2019), 1,283 of which were children.
And it’s not just unemployed people suffering.
1808 people were from working households which means we now have what’s being called “In – Work Poverty”
The use of foodbanks in Angus has increased by 25% over the previous year which means
food poverty is rising not decreasing.
Just read over those numbers again…. 1,283 children, 1808 working people
These are men, women, pensioners, children.
Mum’s, dad’s, grannies, granddads, babies, toddlers, teenagers and young adults.
These are mechanics, nurses, postal workers, carers, teachers, cleaners, farm workers, delivery drivers, office workers, brickies, plumbers, electricians, council workers, lorry drivers. In fact anyone across any sector, sex or age.
Foodbanks have been an absolute lifeline to people in crisis, there’s absolutely no doubt about that but they only provide a 3 day emergency food parcel accessible usually only 3 times every six months and consists of tins, non-perishable and dry food, and you must be referred.
This means you’ve had to explain your situation to someone, you’re given food vouchers to use, which is degrading (not our words but the words of people who have gone through it) and you’re limited as to how often you can use them over a period of time.
Just imagine that for a moment, being faced with all of that in order to feed yourself and your children.
Foodbanks have saved the lives of many individuals and families but the model was never supposed to be long term and it was most definitely not supposed to be the norm.
The longer foodbanks exist and numbers using them rise in our society the more we have failed to address the issues that cause the need for them. People don’t want to go to foodbanks, they use them because they have no other choice, until now.
Choice is important to us all. People affected by food poverty have very little choice.
It’s said that we are all just one crisis away from financial difficulty but even through a crisis we still have bills to pay, we all try to keep a roof over our heads and we all need to eat.
Our Social Supermarket will offer everyone security in the knowledge that if an unexpected crisis does happen, they will always be able to eat, no matter the financial situation. An inclusive environment where there is no difference between those who can afford to shop anywhere and those who can’t. A haven where there is no stigma, where there is choice and where there is dignity.
Those who can afford to shop anywhere will choose to use our Social model because they know that they are supporting a socially responsible mission, tackling food waste, fighting against extremely dangerous greenhouses gasses and supporting their fellow citizens as well as picking up a bargain.
Those who can’t afford to shop in mainstream supermarkets will choose the Social model because they can shop with dignity, with anonymity, without being means tested or having to prove their need.
Dignity is so important to people going through one of the toughest situations in their life.
Who can shop at this supermarket?
You can! These low prices will be available to everyone, in fact, the more people who shop at our supermarket, the more people we can help. We’re hoping that those who find themselves having to use FoodBanks have an alternative with the added benefit of taking away any stigma and providing healthy options at affordable prices.
Will the food be past its use by date?
No. The food will be quality, fresh food within its use by date. It will simply be surplus food that would otherwise be destroyed, wasted and thrown into landfill adding to extremely harmful greenhouse gasses.
What about people who can’t afford to pay, even at reduced prices?
We’re developing a system which will allow those who can’t afford to pay anything to receive their shopping for free, in a discreet manner.
What’s wrong with food banks?
Food banks are a great initiative and have literally been life savers for the most vulnerable and in most need but they were never supposed to be a long- term solution and they certainly were never supposed to be the norm.
With our social supermarket we are creating a more sustainable model where there is choice and dignity and a positive impact for our local community, environment and economy.
More than just a supermarket
If we secure the right premises, investment and backing, we will also offer a variety of other services such as money management support, a community cafe, employment training opportunities, healthy cooking and eating initiatives, work placements, build relationships, support networks and a like minded community.
Want to support this exciting project?
How you can help
Make a donation:
If you are able to, make a donation. No matter how big or small, all donations go a long way to providing proof that the community believes in the project.
Hit the DONATE button at the top of this page which will take you to our donation page.
Spread the word:
One of the criteria’s for any applications we make for funding is to have the communities support.
Leave comments wherever you see our pilot being spoken about and promoted, shout about it everywhere – every like, share and comment makes a difference!
Commercial, Corporate Investment and Sponsorship:
We absolutely need businesses, local trades people and suppliers to invest their time, expertise, equipment or materials in getting the social supermarket up and running.
Please get in touch if you would like more information, would like to help or find out about our sponsorship packages. firstname.lastname@example.org
Private investment and sponsorship:
You folks know how it works!
With backing from the private sector, public bodies often sit up and take notice.
Please consider how you might be able to help and get in touch email@example.com
Carol Malone & Pauline Lockhart Co-Founders of Angus Social Supermarket
To make a donation click here
If you feel you can offer Commercial Investment, Private Investment and or sponsorship please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pauline and Carol