Charities often benefit people in a whole range of ways and this is most certainly the case for an amazing organisation we discovered in Ellesmere Port. Through our work with The Debt Advice Network based in this area, we have been able to support The Port Grocery project – and this has revolutionised the way local people are doing their weekly food shop.
The project uses perfectly good food that would otherwise be wasted by local supermarkets by enabling members to choose a large bag of shopping each week for a very affordable membership fee of just £4. While reducing food waste, this project is also helping those from the local community in most need of a reduced food bill, addressing two key issues – Food Waste and Food Poverty. This not-for-profit community shop also offers employment to the local community with volunteers and staff being trained and up-skilled helping them to obtain transferable skills for the employment market.
The community shop opens on Wednesdays to coincide with the “Wednesday Welcome” sessions held next door in the Trinity Church so people can have a free cake (also previously destined for food waste) and coffee while they wait for their shopping to be bagged.
We have helped this project with its food storage by funding the refrigerators and freezers within the shop and part-funding a refrigerated van for transporting the produce, giving a grant totaling nearly £16,000. The Port Grocery has already proved to be a huge success and we hope other organisations can use this idea in their local communities as it’s a winning formula!