Nottingham students’ food surplus supermarket steps up to COVID challenge

Thursday, 23 April 2020

A University of Nottingham student-run food surplus supermarket and redistribution network has been stepping up its activity after demand surged in the current lockdown to tackle COVID-19.

Foodprint is an award-winning social enterprise, and Nottingham’s first social supermarket run entirely by students and volunteers. It 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, which the large supermarket chains would otherwise discard and end 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.

Foodprint sells surplus supermarket food at discounted prices.

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 impact 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 some extra 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.

Foodprint volunteers load the delivery van, before the lockdown began.

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.

Chris Hyland, Foodprint Director and University of Nottingham student

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."

Sneinton C of E Primary and Nursery School, Nottingham

Kellie Griffiths, Deputy Head at Sneinton C of E Primary School, one of the local schools involved in the redistribution, said: “Foodprint have 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.”

Check their social media and website every Friday for their latest opening hours.

Anyone interested in volunteering their time to help the Foodprint COVID effort in Nottingham can contact the company here or email

Story credits

For more information please contact Zareena Kapadia via email or Emma Rayner, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Arts on 0115 951 5793

Emma Rayner - Media Relations Manager, Faculty of Arts
Phone: 0115 748 4413

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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