Queues form at the opening of a new community store set up to fight food poverty in Lincoln
A new community food store that serves as an alternative to food banks opened today (October 5) on Lincoln High Street.
You can become a member for £ 5 and it costs just £ 3 to buy food from different categories in the shop which includes a bakery section, a frozen section, canned goods and cereals.
Queues of people are said to be waiting outside as the store opens at 9:30 a.m. this morning.
Simon Hawking, CEO of Acts Trust, which helps run the store, said: “We had people lining up outside waiting for us to open and we had a team of volunteers ready to help them out. ” register as members.
“We really wanted to help people dependent on food banks by giving them the dignity of choosing their food and being able to pay for it again.
“It’s really affordable and the next step for people who need to use food banks, or anyone in the community who will find it useful for their food budget.”
He added: “It’s like another bowstring in our fight against food poverty in Lincoln.”
Based at the Central Methodist Church, High Street, it will be run by volunteers and has been set up by Acts Trust, Alive Church Lincoln and The Message Trust.
Mr. Hawking also said the store gives people the chance to show how much they care about helping people in their communities.
He said: “It’s really amazing. The power of volunteering has really been shown here.
“People really care and will use their time to make a difference.
The shelves in the store are filled with surplus food, which means it is still safe to eat but otherwise would have gone to landfill.
Mr Hawking said the food had been “collected and stored”.
Acts Trust has run the Lincoln Foodbank for 30 years and decided in 2017 to set up the store.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it couldn’t open last year but is now in full swing.
While food banks serve their own purpose, Mr. Hawking said the community store will give customers more choices on what they want at an extremely discounted price.
He said: “In 2017, we had a vision of 2020.
“Our plan was that within three years we would have a community grocery store.
“This is not a replacement for a food bank as they will always be needed.
“We thought we could do something proactive to really support people who have used the food bank or who are facing food poverty, to give them more dignity and choice.”
Angeletia Padmore, director of Lincoln Community Grocery, told Lincolnshire Live the store was created to “meet a need” because of the number of people battling food poverty during the closures.
The community store opened just a day before the government was set to cut universal credit by £ 20 a week.
Mr Hawking said: “If there are people out there who are just on the edge, losing money in your paycheck is one of the factors that causes you to need that extra support.
“It may be benefits, it may be low income, it may be circumstances.
“Whatever the reason, we’re here to help.”
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