Cut-price community grocery to open in Wigan to help shoppers affected by pandemic

The cost of the weekly shop is about to plummet for people across Wigan struggling financially due to the pandemic, thanks to the opening of a new grocery store.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 11:37 am
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 11:42 am

The same range of products found in supermarkets will be available to buy from The Edge Community Grocery when it opens on Monday, March 1, including fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned goods, baked items, frozen food, sanitary and household items.

But thanks to donations from local suppliers and supermarkets, shoppers will have a much cheaper bill to pay at the end of their shopping trip.

The store will provide affordable food, allowing members to do a large shop for only £3 per visit, saving up to £40 each time.

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The community grocery will open on Monday, March 1

It is an initiative run by national charity The Message Trust in partnership with Today’s Community Church, which is based at The Edge, in the Wigan Pier Quarter.

The charity’s flagship community grocery in Sharston, south Manchester, is already helping to feed hundreds of families each week.

The community groceries are about more than just food, with members also having access to a wide range of services including employment clubs, debt advice, mental well-being courses, exploring Christianity and cookery courses.

It is hoped the new store will make a real difference for people in Wigan feeling the pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic, including those who have lost their jobs or been placed on furlough.

Andy Hawthorne, chief executive and founder of The Message Trust, said: “Since the first lockdown we’ve seen how hard the impact of Covid-19 has been on people and families. So many are now struggling to afford their weekly shop. We couldn’t stand by and do nothing.

“Community groceries are all about bridging the gap between supermarkets and food banks, making it easier for our members to put food on the table, whilst also providing them with support and courses too.

“We can’t wait to welcome people to the new The Edge Community Grocery from the start of March.”

Chevon Taylor, director of discipleship and mission at Today’s Community Church, said: “We are delighted to be able to partner with The Message Trust to host a community grocery here on The Edge campus in Wigan. We’re excited to welcome each new member to our grocery.

Membership for the community grocery costs just £5 per year and is reserved for Wigan residents who are struggling with the financial impact of Covid-19.

Members are able to visit twice a week and choose their own shopping for their families.

The new store at The Edge is one of many planned community groceries, with branches opening in Redcar, Bolton, Sheffield, Hexham and Ragworth opening over the coming weeks.

To find out more about The Edge Community Grocery and how to become a member, head to communitygrocery.org.uk

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