Shop and Donate CIC is a social supermarket fighting food waste and food poverty, where the customer’s contribution goes towards supporting food banks, key workers and helping vulnerable residents affected by COVID-19.
This is a shop that sells low-cost food to people in poverty. To have access, you are required to meet the membership criteria. The products are divided into low, medium, and high value. This approach allows us to reach people who need it most. Membership is given to those who have low income and scarce resources, such as those on insecure jobs, income support, and unemployment.
We operate as a traditional supermarket but at reduced prices (e.g., selling at 70% less than high street prices). All the items in the supermarket are categorized by color to ensure that we make the best use of the stock we have. For example, it would not be very fair if one member took 10 jars of coffee leaving none for anyone else! The way we categorize items is based on a mixture of the retail price, volume, “use by” / “best before” dates and
how popular the stock is with the supermarket members.
We have a £5 weekly fee which gives members access to a number of goods (up to a value of £15-£25 per week). A member can take up to 10 items: 3 high-value red shelve items; 3 medium-value orange shelf items and 4 low-value blue shelve items. Also, Along with this, we also offer each customer a loyalty card where they can get every 10th order for free.
Reducing the costs of food ensures our customers are well fed and can afford other essentials such as housing and utility costs. This along with the low-cost products distinguishes it from the other supermarkets. The goods are sourced from mainstream supermarkets, local shops, donations from members of the public, food redistribution organizations, and large food banks. The food is in-date and wholesome and would otherwise be sent to landfills by big retailers for a variety of reasons. Including items packaged and weighed incorrectly and over-production.
The food sold in our supermarket is very varied. We have breakfast (tea, coffee, cereal), tinned goods, pasta, rice, and fresh fruit and vegetables, plus some toiletries. Our customers have the option of buying products from our physical supermarket or from our e-commerce partners, such as Too Good To Go, Wowcher, Deliveroo, Karma Life, and eBay.
Overall, we have a team of about 20 people who are dedicated and of various experiences and ages. As well as volunteers who are experienced in admin, finance, HR, customer service and fundraising, we are already connected to a variety of suppliers who can provide us with goods. Such is Fareshare, Giving World, Banquet, and supermarkets such as M&S and Lidl.
The social supermarket runs from our office based in Fulham, however, we are looking to expand the supermarket and reach more people. This will also provide a great opportunity for members of the local community to become involved in the project, as we will be able to provide them with voluntary and work experience opportunities in addition to also offering access to affordable low-cost food and products.