The Lincoln Community Grocery is located in the Central Methodist Church on the High Street. The organisation is one of 11 that have been initiated around the country to help reduce food poverty across the UK by reducing the cost of the weekly shop for those who need it.The Groceries have been set up because local people were unable to afford to put basic food on the table and this was exacerbated by COVID19. The very first Community Grocery was set up in Wythnshawe, Manchester in September 2020. The charity had started putting together food parcels for local families during the first lockdown, but found that as this eased life was not improving for families. This led to the idea of a community grocery where the team could redistribute food from charities like FareShare that deal with food redistribution.
The Grocery supports anyone who needs it and members are not means tested. However, the organisation does emphasise that the service is particularly for those who who may be struggling to afford their regular shopping at the time.
Manager, Angeletia and the team have referral partners that they made contact with to explain that the service was up and running. These include community service providers such as schools, GPs and dentists. These partners can inform people they are working with, that they believe would benefit from the service, who can become members for just £5 a year. This then gives members the ability to head to the stores and shop for £3 a visit up to three times a week – saving on average £30 on a food shop per visit.
Angeletia had originally heard about FareShare five years ago, when she lived in Deptford in London. At that time Angeletia worked for a community café, and they would get their produce from the FareShare Deptford Depot and make food for the community.
The Lincoln Grocery got in touch, as all the other Community Groceries around the country use FareShare to get the bulk of their produce. The Grocery receives a substantial 880kg of produce from FareShare twice every week (on Mondays and Wednesdays), and an additional 880kg fortnightly on a Tuesday.
As well as using this to provide cost-effective shopping, Angeletia and team try to prevent any of the food from ending up in landfill. This means that if they receive a bulk delivery of, for example, fresh salad, they might come up with recipe cards to encourage members to use it all.
Angeletia said “I just want to say a huge thank you and that FareShare has helped us immensely. We get 80% of our produce from FareShare to stock our shelves and fruit and veg. All the hard work that the staff and volunteers at FareShare do behind the scenes, to make sure we get those 880kg of food on a regular basis, is so helpful to us. It is truly beneficial to the community and we are really grateful. FareShare is well-needed and we just keep rooting for you guys”.
Post-COVID19, the Community Groceries continue to grow. They are set up in the most deprived areas in the UK. The Lincoln Community Grocery was the 10th and the 11th is about to open in a couple of weeks in Telford.
Find out more about the Lincoln Community Grocery here.
Find out more about getting food from FareShare Midlands here.