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Social Supermarket Feeds & Empowers

Hawke’s Bay’s first social supermarket has officially opened its doors.

Located at 47 Edmundson Street, Onekawa, Foodstuffs North Island in partnership with Nourished for Nil opened the supermarket on September 19.

Chief executive of Foodstuffs North Island Chris Quin said in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle they worked closely with Nourished for Nil to distribute more than $223,500 of PAK’nSAVE gift cards to those most affected.

“When we were looking for a local partner to open a social supermarket with, Nourished for Nil were the obvious choice,” Quin said.

“The cost-of-living crisis means many hard-working Kiwis are struggling to make ends meet and demand for food support has surged across the country. This social supermarket is going to provide dignity and choice for families who need a helping hand.”

Founder of Nourished for Nil Christina McBeth said having a social supermarket was going to make a “huge difference” for people affected by the cyclone.

“It’s a long road to recovery and many of the subsidies have lapsed and many people are still living in less-than-ideal situations and still having to prioritise feeding their kids and pets over themselves,” she said.

“We’re confident this social supermarket will go a long way in helping get families back on track. The high cost of living has been amplified here in Hawke’s Bay because of the cyclone. Our people are really struggling and having another option for helping increase food security will be welcome.”

PAK’nSAVE Tamatea, under the guidance of Owner Operator Andrew Graney, will act as the buddy store for the new social supermarket, providing ongoing support and training to ensure the store’s success.

Social supermarkets are a fresh and dignified approach to food support.

Instead of providing pre-filled food parcels to individuals experiencing food insecurity, they can select the items they need in a supermarket-style environment, thus empowering people to make the choices which best align with their family’s dietary, cultural, and personal preferences.

Food and grocery products are offered at low or no cost, utilising a points system, all within a standard supermarket environment, making healthy and affordable food accessible to everyone in the community.

At the point of checkout, food is scanned through and bagged up, and each shopper is then asked to contribute a minimum of $20 towards their shop.

The social supermarket will be open five days a week and will be accessible via social/community service agencies or community connectors by referral appointment only.

Self-referrals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Walk-ins will not be accepted as shopping is done using a booking system. Clients can access the supermarket once every 4 weeks for a period of 9 months.

This is the eighth social supermarket opened by Foodstuffs North Island in the last two years and the co-op is committed to opening many more across the North Island.

Each social supermarket is opened in collaboration with a local community organisation, making each store unique as they are designed, owned, and operated by the local community partner organisation.

These partnerships also offer wraparound services, including access to social workers and financial mentors.

Article supplied by Bay Buzz: Social supermarket feeds & empowers | BayBuzz

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