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Social supermarkets

London pilots supermarkets to reduce waste and cut food poverty
Social supermarkets

Three new social supermarkets are to open in Haringey, Enfield and Lambeth with funding from the Mayor of London.

The pilot supermarkets will sell in-date food that would otherwise be sent to landfill by big retailers for a variety of reasons, including over-production and incorrect labelling.

The new shops will receive funding from the Mayor’s High Street Fund as part of a £129 million investment aimed at helping London’s high streets to adapt and thrive.

‘When I visited the Lambeth Community Shop last year, I was struck by the range of training and skills services, making it a hugely positive resource. This funding will help boroughs kick start similar ‘social supermarket’ ventures that can really help local people on tight budgets.

‘I want to see more innovative schemes on our high streets that tackle food waste, help communities and offer access to a variety of good standard cheaper food.’

Mayor of London

Supporting communities

The social supermarkets are intended to help families on lower incomes and offer a range of supportive community services.

Haringey will establish a social supermarket in Northumberland Park, the most deprived ward in London. Eric Allin Community Centre have committed to providing the additional funding needed and will likely be the site for the Haringey store with support from the Haringey Obesity Alliance.

Enfield has the highest number of families affected by the benefit cap in the UK and the sixth-largest number of households living in fuel poverty in London. The new social supermarket will share a library site in Upper Edmonton, where the library will generate the footfall needed to integrate the store into the community.

Lambeth hosted London’s first social supermarket which has already helped 520 households with access to low-cost food, employment, budgeting tips and cookery lessons. The new store will be in Clapham Park, where a third of households claim housing benefit, and will help people in Brixton, Streatham and Clapham.

The food programme

The announcement coincides with a new report that details the ways in which the London Food Board has encouraged Londoners to eat more healthily and helped to make food healthier for Londoners over the last decade.

Capital of Food: Ten Years of London Leadership sets out what the London Food Board will do to ensure that everyone in London can access good, healthy food at every stage of their lives, from new mothers and children all the way through to older people who may be at risk of malnutrition often caused by inadequate diets.

‘Health costs due to obesity continue to spiral, food accounts for 30 per cent of carbon emissions worldwide and food-related illnesses remain the main cause of premature death worldwide. As a city, London must take the lead in transforming our food system to make eating healthily the easy option.’

Chair of London Food Board

The Mayor’s food programme is designed to make food in London a positive force for the health, the environment and community cohesion.

The goal is also to make London a world-class exponent of urban food policy, using the best of private, public and third sectors to make the food system work better for London’s economy, health and environment.

Click here to read the full report, Capital of Food: Ten Years of London Leadership

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