Community grocery opens in Baptist church
More than 100 people signed up to become members of a community grocery when it opened in Emmanuel Baptist Church in Liverpool
Community Grocery Netherton is a partnership between Emmanuel Baptist Church, where the store is based, and the Message Trust.
It aims to help local residents with their weekly food shop at a time when many households have been feeling the financial impact of Covid-19.
It does so by providing a great selection of branded items that would be found at a local supermarket but for a fraction of the price. The grocery is run on a membership basis designed for anyone who is struggling to afford the everyday basics by offering a full selection of groceries for just £3.
Membership for one year costs just £5, and members can use the store twice a week. There was much interest when it opened on Tuesday (22 June).
Writing on Facebook, the church's associate minister Tom Grant said, 'I have been blown away by today!!! Over 100 new members welcomed to Community Grocery Netherton and a fantastic day meeting amazing people from the area!
'Thank you to all the incredible staff, volunteers, community members, community organisations, everyone at the Message Trust and Emmanuel Baptist Church who have made it possible.'
In a letter outlining the scheme to residents, Community Grocery Netherton said members could save more than £40 on each visit. Much of the food is donated by supermarkets, it explained:
'Our members not only get to save on their food shop but they also get to play their part in helping to protect the environment. Lots of the items in our grocery have been given to us by local supermarkets and would have normally ended up going into landfill.
'The food is all great, and there are many reasons why supermarkets have surplus food to donate. It may be there are packaging mistakes, errors with ordering or that the food that ends up too close to its ‘best before’ date for them to sell. So they’ve given it to the Community Grocery.'
In addition, members can access other benefits like job clubs, money management courses, mental well-being courses, youth clubs, volunteering and more. As soon as the government restrictions allow, these activities will be hosted on the same site as the grocery.
Emmanuel's minister Allan Finnegan said, 'This is a fantastic resource and a great response from the local church. It is our prayer that it will not only help at this time of need but also, the wrap-around support will give people the skills needed to build better futures.'