Bristol resident joined 'food club' due to soaring cost of living
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While no-one can escape the cost of living crisis, it’s been particularly difficult for some residents in Plymouth. The minister of a church in the region said he’s witnessed “a dramatic need” for food clubs to act as “social supermarkets”.
Davenport Community Baptist Church Minister Michael Shaw says food clubs like his are vital right now as they are acting as “social supermarkets” bridging the gap between food banks and large supermarkets.
Unlike food banks, food clubs are open to everyone and allow people to purchase supermarket food nearing its sell-by-date for a much lower price.
Britons from all walks of life are relying on the food club in Davenport to make savings by supplementing their weekly food shop.
Mr Shaw said: “People can join for £1 and a bag of food costs £2.”
He continued: “It’s set up like a shop with an area for toiletries, bread and cereal and a fridge – so people can choose what they want.
“It’s used by people who wouldn’t usually rely on a food bank.
“I’m shocked by the growth and the desperate need for cheaper food.”
When the food club first opened in March this year, he saw 10 to 15 people in the first week – now it’s more like 40.
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Devonport is in the top one percent most deprived areas in Britain but people in other parts of the UK are turning to food clubs too in order to afford essential items.
A woman from Bristol saves almost £100 a month by using a food club near her.
Elaine Wishart told Express.co.uk: “It’s open to anyone and you pay £3.50 a week and it’s what supermarkets are about to throw away.
“I reckon each week I get about £20 to £25 worth of stuff for £3.50 and you never know what you are getting.”
This would work out at a saving of between £66 and £86 per month.
Food clubs are different to food banks because people don’t have to prove they are in financial trouble to get a referral.
The news comes as food banks are struggling to keep up with demand because middle class people who would usually donate are now turning to them for support.
Father Richard McKay told Express.co.uk: “We’ve had teachers coming here for help.
“I find the whole thing alarming – everybody is feeling the squeeze.”
A quick Google search of “food clubs near me” should direct people where to find their nearest food club. Britons in other UK regions could go along to:
Devonport Community Baptist Church
Family Action – covering all UK regions
Community Food Clubs Barking and Dagenham
Provision House – West Midlands
Manchester food clubs.
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