Social enterprise asks businesses to unlock surplus stock to support more people and communities across the country.
Award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, has urged the food and drink industry to maximise the value from its surplus stock, as it today reveals a doubling in demand for its services.
With more families than ever having to make the very real choice between a warm home and a warm meal, Community Shop served a record 45,808 baskets*, resulting in a 104% increase in demand for its services over the festive period (1st – 31st December 2022).
Community Shop operates 10 social supermarket stores across the UK, all of which are in areas of high deprivation and are open to people receiving welfare support. It works with the FMCG industry to redistribute surplus stock that might have otherwise gone to waste, enabling its members to access high-quality, low-cost food and essential products.
The surplus stock donated by the industry also helps to power each of Community Shop’s Kitchens, where members can access homemade wholesome meals, and learning and development Hubs. The Hubs deliver transformative personal development training, including programmes that support health, wellbeing and money matters, to increase members’ confidence, build on strengths and overcome barriers in their lives. All of this provides a critical lifeline to thousands of families on the cusp of food poverty, which is more needed than ever before in today’s economic climate.
With recent analysis from the Resolution Foundation suggesting that the average UK household is only half-way through the cost of living crisis with incomes set to fall further, Community Shop is predicting further significant increases in demand for its services in 2023.
To meet this growing demand for support, Community Shop has already announced its next store will open in a few weeks’ time, and is now asking for more businesses to review their supply chains to identify and unlock surplus stock that can be used to create significant positive impact for people and communities across the country.
Owen McLellan, Company Shop Group’s Managing Director, said:
“The redistribution of surplus stock makes a critical difference to families in the UK who rely on it being available to help their stretched budgets go further. Through the support of our partners, we were able to provide thousands of meals to adults and children, as well as activities and gifts, that helped maintain the magic of Christmas.
“With the right intervention surplus stock can be fuel for change and in Community Shop we provide a powerful combination of much-needed relief from food poverty, and access to life changing learning and development programmes.
“We’ll continue to see a growing need for this support and that’s why we’re today asking the industry to work with us to identify opportunities to redistribute surplus products – which may otherwise be seen and treated as waste – so that we can continue supporting those that need it the most.”
Community Shop is part of Company Shop Group, the UK’s leading redistributor of surplus food and non-food products. Companies looking to unlock the value from their surplus stock can get in touch at email@example.com