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.