Nov 30th, 2023
5 mins

Community Shop reveals its support for over 60,000 families, creation of 30.4million meals, and delivery of more than 174,000 personal development programmes over the decade.

Multi award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, is marking a decade of transforming lives through surplus food, as it reveals the true impact of its unique food access model.

As the UK’s first social supermarket chain, Community Shop originated in South Yorkshire with aim of delivering affordable, dignified, and sustainable food aid for individuals and families living on the cusp of food poverty.

A decade on, Community Shop is generating positive, lasting change in 12 of the UK’s most deprived communities. By providing thousands of people with access to high-quality, low-cost food, and life-changing personal development support, Community Shop is building stronger individuals, and more confident communities.

Over the last ten years Community Shop has supported 61,498 families, created the equivalent of more than 30.4 million meals and saved its members – who receive welfare support – a collective £51.7m on their shopping. More than 200 industry partners have played a significant role through generous funding and surplus stock donations.

Within its Community Hubs, it has delivered 174,548 personal development programmes, working closely with more than 800 local partners. As a result, 2,453 members have gained new skills and qualifications, and 2,510 members have returned to work. In the Community Kitchens, alongside being a place to learn new cooking skills and build relationships with food, 809,157 children have eaten for free, and more than 10,000 Christmas dinners have been served, bringing communities together.

In conjunction with its parent organisation, Company Shop Group, Community Shop will be using its 10th anniversary year to share its expertise and learnings with the sector as it leads the way in transforming and reframing the way food aid is accessed and delivered for the better.

To kick-start this work, the Group hosted a reception event which welcomed major players and supporters across retail, manufacturing, social policy and academia. Alongside words from the BRC’s CEO Helen Dickinson, John Marren MBE DL as Founder and Ainsley Harriott who praised Community Shop’s work, guests also heard a powerful member story, demonstrating first-hand the life-changing impact that Community Shop’s sustained, person-centred support has.

With the stores’ unique model also being shortlisted for two UK Social Enterprise Awards, a clear focus of the evening was Community Shop’s high ambitions for the future, as it looks to support even more communities with more stores, and welcome new and continued partnerships with businesses wanting to do something wholly positive and sustainable with their surplus. This will be supported by continued insight sharing and a series of food festivals throughout the year.


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