Based at the Repton Connect Community Centre in Ashford, a Community Shop to help ease food poverty in the town will be opening its doors today, Friday 26th November.

The shop, to be opened by The Worshipful the Mayor of Ashford, accompanied by Cllr Paul Bartlett, was co-created by members of the community in response to food poverty within the borough of Ashford.

The shop will be staffed by volunteers and supplied via donations from the public and the FareShare programme. The shop will operate alongside the People’s Pantry food bank which will continue to assist members of the public with emergency food parcels. The People’s Pantry has assisted over 3,000 people since August 2020 and consistent feedback from users indicated a shopping experience is preferred.

The shop, based on a social supermarket model, will request a donation of £1 for every £5 worth of items. You will be able to get a maximum of £20 worth of goods for £4. The shop aims to reduce dependence on foodbanks whilst allowing customers to enjoy a shopping experience rather than collect a food parcel.

Open for 2 hours a day, the shop is available for anyone who feels they need to use it.

The shop is built from a recycled shipping container that has been refitted with insulation, lights, a fridge, shelving, and a checkout. Once inside, you can grab a basket, select your items, donate if possible and be on your way.

For more information on how to donate, volunteer or opening hours, please contact Repton Connect 01233 80 80 23 or . Repton Connect can be found on Repton Avenue, Ashford, TN23 3RX

By Ed

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