Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet – which runs to Summer Kitchen free meals scheme -has launched a temporary social supermarket.
Prices are around half the cost of goods in most shops and stock consists of quality, health food – no crisps, fizzy drinks or sweets.
Kitchen boss Sharon Goodyer and volunteers are running the scheme at Drapers Mills Primary School from 10am – 3pm every weekday throughout August.
Sharon said: “The parent who said to me ‘the government tells us to eat more fruit and veg but they do not make them cheaper’ is right.
“Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet’s temporary social supermarket is trying to make things better for those who are trying to eat better and more healthily but just do not have the money to do so. This situation is just silly. The whole country would be better off in the long run if instead of subsidising those who can afford to eat out they helped all those of us trying to cook better for our families day in and day out.
“We are buying as much fresh fruit and veg as we can and we also have lots of fruit juice, tinned fruit, Yorkshire teabags, some dark chocolate with fruit and nuts in, our old favourite: baked beans, lots of tinned butter beans and lentils and some good quality sausages as well as the staples like rice, spaghetti and pasta. We have yogurts and spreadable butter too.
“We are starting to develop a range of good quality cakes like carrot cake and meal kits to give everyone ideas on how to make the best use of simple affordable ingredients.
“We have decided to simplify how we work to cope with the large number of customers . We have dropped any subscription and now just charge the lowest prices we possibly can. We are majoring on good tasty food.”
At the end of the summer holidays it is hoped Thanet council will provide a free of charge shop so the social supermarket can continue.
Sharon added: “This is not for everyone. We are trying to reach those people who need us most. When you register we will ask for your name and contact details, we will ask you to tell us about you/your family and food. Allergies? Special diets? Are you trying to eat more healthily? Do you have a kitchen that is adequate for you to cook in?
“Then we ask you why you feel you need to be a member of a social supermarket? A few people give us one answer to this question but most give us between 3 and 7 reasons. It is the combination of circumstances that makes life difficult for lots of us currently.
“We also ask for permission to use the wonderful quotes you give us! One mum said yesterday ‘ I have worked out that an average cost of a bag of shopping is £20 but here I have got all this for £12’
“We have not got a huge variety in our stock yet but shopping with us should be a help in eating better for less cost.”
The social supermarket has a one way system, hand washing or use of gel and continual cleaning.
Three families at a time are allowed inside and people are asked to wear masks. Stock is spread out for social distancing.
The scheme does need helpers, particularly on a Wednesday and Thursday morning when the stock arrives.
Drapers Mills School is behind the hospital and next to the windmill in St Peter’s Footpath.