Foodprint steps up to coronavirus challenge
The student-run food surplus supermarket and redistribution network Foodprint, which was established thanks to a Cascade grant, has been stepping up its activity after demand surged in the current lockdown to tackle COVID-19.
The award-winning social enterprise, Nottingham’s first social supermarket run entirely by students and volunteers is supported by Enactus Nottingham, a student entrepreneurship body based at the Nottingham University Business School.
The Foodprint supermarket in Sneinton sells and delivers unsold food that is still good to eat at discounted prices, which the large supermarket chains would otherwise discard, ending up in landfill. Since its launch in 2017, Foodprint has been supplying food to around 600 households, food banks, homeless shelters and school breakfast clubs in inner city Nottingham but the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown has seen demand increase dramatically.
Since the outbreak the not-for-profit business has had to adjust its operations to adhere to the protocols of the lockdown. Now, thanks to new partnerships with other charities and organisations in Nottingham, Foodprint has been able to expand its redistribution service to more vulnerable people in the community.
This includes redistributing food to four city schools that provide a new and vital service creating food parcels for families with children who qualify for free school meals. As a result, Foodprint has helped support around 100 families in the city who would otherwise be unable to afford buying food from large supermarkets. The families are now able to collect these parcels from their school gates.
Another new venture is in collaboration with local retirement villages and sheltered accommodation for elderly people. Thanks to funding from Capital One, food parcels from Foodprint are now being distributed to people who are self-isolating for reasons of health and age and who can’t go to the shops.
The Foodprint social supermarket on Sneinton Road in Nottingham is now being staffed almost entirely by local volunteers and aims to be open on Saturday from 9am to 5pm each week. The store is not open for browsing during the lockdown but is taking orders from customers at the door under normal social distancing guidelines.
Foodprint’s Director, Chris Hyland, said:
“It’s been a challenging time for Foodprint as most of our student managers and volunteers went home to their families before the lockdown. As a result, we’ve had to very quickly change the way we operate to continue ensuring surplus supermarket food doesn’t go to waste.
"We are extremely grateful for the continuing support of our supplier organisations, including Fareshare Midlands, Central England Co-operative and ALDI, and to the team of volunteers keeping our store and redistribution network running. I’d like to appeal to more local people to come forward to help us further."
Kellie Griffiths, Deputy Head at Sneinton C of E Primary School, one of the local schools involved in the redistribution, said: “Foodprint has supported children and families at our primary school to be able to access stable and needed food during the time of this pandemic. The help and support they have given us on a weekly basis have ensured that we have been able to give food to the most vulnerable in our community. They have been so helpful, and they really are a hidden diamond within the local Sneinton area.”