A new grocery store that will help families impacted financially by the coronavirus pandemic has opened in Salford.
The Victory Outreach Community Grocery on Liverpool Street is the result of a partnership between national charity The Message Trust and local church Victory Outreach Manchester.
The store, which is making use of the empty church building, offers struggling Salford families the chance to purchase two £3 food shops per week (following a £5 membership charge for the year).
It also provides members with a range of other services including employment clubs, mental wellbeing courses and cookery classes.
Announcing the launch of the new Community Grocery in January, Andy Hawthorne OBE, 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.
“We couldn’t stand by and do nothing.”
Pastor Paul and Vicky Lloyd, of Victory Outreach Manchester, explained: “What simpler way to help people who have been hit hard by the pandemic lockdowns than to take food off their list of things to worry about?
“We believe that no family should go without the basic necessities and we’re looking forward to the Community Grocery being at the forefront of some other amazing services, as we face whatever the future brings our way.”
The opening of Salford’s Community Grocery follows a successful launch of the project in nearby Sharston, where hundreds of families now have support with their food shop each week.
Brian Myles, general manager of the Victory Outreach Community Grocery, said: “It’s not a foodbank and it’s not a supermarket, we call it an in between.
“It’s a place where people can come with a sense of dignity and just shop and pick items for themselves or their households that they need or they can use.”
Shelves in the grocery store are stocked with a variety of products kindly given by local suppliers and supermarkets.
In addition, Brian is keen for any Salfordians in a position to help to consider contributing items to the Community Grocery or donating to ‘Pay It Forward’.
He added: “I think it’s a great thing for the communities.
“Obviously we’ve seen during the first lockdown about families and kids that were going hungry, and with the whole Marcus Rashford push – no one should go hungry.”
The Victory Outreach Community Grocery is open 9.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.