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Social supermarket concept to open in Tokoroa

(Source: Bigstock.)

Community wellbeing organisation Buttabean Motivation (BBM) and Foodstuffs North Island have partnered to open a ‘social supermarket’ in Tokoroa in August.

A social supermarket allows people experiencing food insecurity to choose what they need rather than provide them with pre-filled selections.

David Letele of Buttabean Motivation said the initiative is more than just an emergency food access and no one should feel “ashamed” to be getting food support.

“It’s a place where people can connect with a wide range of support services to help make sure that one day, they don’t need the social supermarket anymore.”

The Wellington City Mission Social Supermarket initiative took off last March when the country experienced level four lockdowns. Since then, Foodstuffs has opened Te Hiku Pātaka in Kaitaia in partnership with Te Kahu Oranga Whanau.

“Having Foodstuffs on board means we get their retail expertise and support on all the logistics of setting up a supermarket, training a team to run it, and getting processes sorted to make sure there’s always stock on shelf when people need it.”

Willa Hand, Foodstuffs’ North Island head of membership experience, said the company had a “close relationship” with BBM since the beginning of the pandemic.

“When they told us about their plans to open another Foodshare in Tokoroa, it made total sense that we would throw our support behind it.

“Our social supermarket initiatives so far have taken a slightly different approach – rather than setting up a cookie-cutter offering in every town, we work closely with the community partners to set up something that is uniquely suited to their needs.”

Foodstuffs plans to roll out more community-based supermarket initiatives in the coming years.

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