The pandemic highlighted the problem of poverty in society. In March ‘20, thousands of people had their financial security removed, for reasons such as furlough on minimum wage, unemployment, or low incomes becoming unmanageable. In ‘20, GMCVO published that 620,000 people were living in poverty. As an organisation providing a Foodbank on-wheels, we witnessed the consequences first-hand; clients were referred into us weekly & our food support was the only way they were able to eat each week. This frequency of foodbank usage is unworkable & an unfair way to expect anyone to live; we are providing a solution in the form of a Community Grocers on-wheels.
We aim to reduce dependency on foodbanks and break the cycle of generational poverty. We will provide a wraparound service whereby our Foodbank is available for emergencies, and we will work with our clients to support budgeting, signposting to additional services where necessary. Once the immediate crisis has subsided, clients migrate to our Grocers. Delivery makes the Grocers immediately accessible to anyone in the city. Clients pay a yearly membership fee & a small weekly fee for a week’s worth of groceries, including protein, fresh produce, & ambient goods to ensure nutrition. We will be the only Grocers in the area to provide both an on-wheels service and a full, balanced weekly menu.
Our organisation has successfully fed up to 500 people a week using our delivery model for the past 18 months and we know that it works. We already have an established team of staff and volunteers dedicated to the project and we believe now is the right time to help clients to reduce reliance on foodbanks and bridge that gap between foodbanks and supermarkets. We work closely with our network of 200+ referral agents, including the Our Manchester Food Partnership, and have an established community presence, therefore we will be able to spread the word to clients relatively quickly. Unlike our Foodbank, we will encourage clients to self-refer to the service and expect to see a high uptake.
|Social Media Marketing Plan (£199 per month for 6 months)||£1,194|
|Mobile Phone Contracts (for calling clients to place orders (£20 per month x 2 for 6 months)||£240|
|Fuel Costs (£200 per month for 6 months)||£1,200|
|COSHH & Food Safety Costs (£60 per month for 6 months)||£360|
Clients who have previously been excluded from traditional walk-in Community Grocers (for example parents with small children or clients with mobility issues) will have access to the service. Foodbank usage and dependence will decrease as Foodbank users will migrate to the Grocers service. We aim for 25% of clients who have never used Community Grocers before to become regular clients of ours, and for 50% of our regular Foodbank clients to move over to the Grocers model within the first 6 months. Clients will be able to choose the items they wish to have each week, which is a luxury they may not have been afforded whilst using foodbanks. We will ensure that no more than 2% of our food is wasted (to account for spoilage). Client mental health will be improved once the anxiety surrounding food is removed. We will produce a survey based on the five ways of wellbeing, which will be provided to clients at the beginning of the project and six months in.
For an organisation established in 2019, we have increased our impact month-on-month since inauguration. Over the last 12 months, we have delivered a total of 65,000 meals to clients & supported up to 500 clients per week with food support. We have been told by multiple clients that our packages are superior to offerings they have previously received, & the flexibility of our Foodbank service means that they were never worried about ‘using up’ one of their Foodbank referrals. Over Christmas 2020, we ran our largest singular project to date, and delivered full Christmas hampers to 369 clients over the course of one day. Our Operations Manager has a background in working with food at a senior level & we have trained all our volunteers in food hygiene Level 2. Our managers are trained at Level 3 or above. We have always provided funders with detailed grant reporting & stuck meticulously to budgets. References are available from previous funders & from Our Manchester Food Partnership.