Call for Barnsley food enterprise to ‘go national’

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A report into the causes of hunger has called for more ‘social supermarkets’ like the only one of its kind in South Yorkshire.

Evidence for the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry was gathered during a visit to the social enterprise Community Shop in Goldthorpe, Barnsley, last month.

It allows members to shop for food at drastically discounted prices using surplus food from retailers, as well as giving access to advice.

Feeding Britain, published this week, presented a plan for ensuring low-income households can afford and have access to decent food and eventually reverse the rising demand for food banks.

The report said “We would also encourage the development of the social supermarket model currently being pioneered in South Yorkshire.”

Community Shop was set up in 2013 and has 500 members, all people on low incomes.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has now written to the Work and Pensions Secretary urging the Government to back more social supermarkets.

He had spoken to colleagues about the enterprise before the hunger inquiry was launched, and was part of the investigation.

Mr Healey said: “Community Shop in Goldthorpe is leading the way in helping tackle food poverty and the four million tonnes of surplus food we waste by sending to landfill every year.

“I want to see what has been done first in the Dearne go nationwide.”

After he visited the Community Shop last month, inquiry chairman Frank Field praised the idea.

He said: “It is a marvellous example of meeting people’s immediate need to gain decent food, raising resilience and, for many, finding jobs.”