MPs fighting food poverty visit Goldthorpe social supermarket

A LEADING MP working on fighting food poverty has visited Britain’s first social supermarket in Goldthorpe.

Birkenhead MP Frank Field chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hunger and Food Poverty.

Company Shop, which runs Community Shop, gave evidence to the APPG’s food poverty inquiry – due to report soon – and Mr Field was keen to see the project in action.

The MP wants to push for similar social supermarkets to open in the Wirral.

He said afterwards: “It’s a marvellous example of meeting people’s immediate need to gain decent food, raising their resilience and, for many, finding jobs.”

Mr Field was accompanied by Dearne MP John Healey, who is a member of the food poverty APPG and had spoken to his colleague about Goldthorpe before the inquiry was launched.

Mr Healey said: “Community Shop in Goldthorpe is leading the way in helping tackle food poverty and the four million tonnes of surplus food we waste by sending to landfill every year.

“I want to see what has been done first in the Dearne go nationwide.”

Social enterprise Community Shop is the UK’s first network of social supermarkets and their pilot store in Goldthorpe was launched in December 2013. It now has 500 members who are on low incomes, in and out of work.

They offer wholesome food at low cost, while enrolling members on a programme of free, professional support, for example with budgeting, debt, skills training and cooking.

The aim is to tackle the root causes of food poverty and provide a route back to financial independence and mainstream shops.

Company Shop told the APPG that more and more people are reliant on food banks while the food industry is generating enormous amounts of surplus food.