22nd April 2021
Volunteers at Peacehaven Community Supermarket welcomed Mayor Claude Cheta Cllr this week, who was keen to learn more about the principles of a pay as you feel shop and how it is helping to connect local residents, whilst reducing food waste.
Community Supermarkets are an increasingly popular solution to food insecurity, which provide a long term, community led approach, reducing the need for foodbank use.
Seahaven Community Food coordinator Stef Lake, shared her answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this exciting new project.
Is it a foodbank?
Peacehaven Community Supermarket is not a foodbank. Once you are a member you can come as often as you like, for as long as you like and we work really hard on reducing stigma – we want it to be a positive welcoming space, something that people look forward to each week. The main difference between a community supermarket and a foodbank is that our members can choose from a range of food and other items, so that they get the food their family enjoy most.
Where does the food come from?
Most of our food is ‘surplus’, which means it would otherwise have been wasted, but it’s still great quality. We source food through FareShare and are building connections with local food businesses. We encourage local residents to share their own surplus food with us, so that nothing goes to waste. We have a really nice mix, from fresh fruit and veg to cupboard staples such as pasta, as well a freezer stocked with meals cooked in our kitchen at Denton Island, which are very popular.
How much does it cost?
Members are asked to contribute on a pay as you feel basis—this means that they can decide what to pay, based on what they feel able to contribute—and we understand that sometimes that might be nothing at all. Some weeks people might pay more, and some weeks they might pay less, and that’s fine. All of the contributions go back into the project.
Do you just stock food?
Our main focus is on providing healthy & delicious food, but members also have access to toiletries, sanitary products, as well as some cleaning, washing products and toilet roll. Our selection varies each week, depending on what we’ve been given, but if people tell us that there is something in particular they need, we do our best to get it for them.
Kempton House Day Centre are looking forward to offering tea and coffee alongside the community supermarket, so as things start to open up, people can stay for a cuppa and a chat as well. Social interactions are a key part of what we do – we want everyone to feel welcome and supported. It’s about getting food onto people’s tables, but it’s so much more than that as well.
Anybody interested in getting involved with Peacehaven Community Supermarket should email: email@example.com or if you would like to sign up as a member please call 01273 516032