What an impact at our Hall Road hub!
Christmas at our Hall Road hub: what an impact!
We have adjoining premises on Hall Road, Norwich which work as one to support the local community:
Our Social Supermarket provides low-cost groceries to people who can't afford enough food for themself and their family.
Connected to the store is our Community Café, which is a space where Supermarket members can connect, stay warm, have a tasty bite to eat and access advice from our team and partner organisations.
In the lead up to Christmas, we were mindful that for our members the festive experience was unlikely to be what many of us hope for: lots to eat, treats and presents. To address this, our team hatched a plan and with support from suppliers and donors to our online fundraising campaign, we were able to fund extra food in the supermarket, hot meals in the café and lots more too.
This activity was a great demonstration of us putting our mission into action and wanting everyone in Norwich to be able to eat well, live well and feel connected.
Here are some of the highlights showing the impact we made in December:
We distributed over 439kg of vegetables during the final week before Christmas. In the month of December, we gave out 1,971kg of fresh produce plus 6kg of hygiene products.
300kg of frozen chicken was donated by Bernard Matthews which was shared out.
18 members had a Christmas dinner (see photo above) complete with pudding and a quiz to follow. It was a roaring success and the best so far in terms of interactions and how quickly people signed up.
In the week prior to Christmas we cooked a further 100 roast dinners. These were chilled so members could collect them, take them home and have a roast dinner for Christmas.
We gifted 239 toys to members and these were made available in the Santa's Grotto we set up inside our Community Café.
Our Community Engagement Lead is the person in our team who is the first point of contact for members. In December she:
connected 23 members needing other support to relevant local organisations
gave out £160 in fuel vouchers
gave out £710 in supermarket vouchers, allowing people to shop with a little more freedom and get themselves some treats
I would just like to say a great big thank you for making my Christmas dinner so lovely.
What did our members say?
“I would just like to say a great big thank you for making my Christmas dinner so lovely. I really enjoyed all the company, you really are amazing angels especially when money is so tight at the moment".
“I’ve got 90p in my pocket and I feel like I've won the lottery.” (We provided this person with three large bags of groceries.)
“Thank you for being here and being a safe place for me.”
Case study: how we helped Stephen
Steven* came into our Social Supermarket just before Christmas. He looked a little lost. He had recently become a member - this is free and for anyone in NR1, NR2 or NR4 who can't afford enough food.
This was the first time he'd been to the store. He was a little emotional and had three school aged children with him. One of our team spoke with him and asked if he wanted assistance. He explained his wife was expecting their fourth child and had recently had an operation to stop her from losing the baby. She was now on complete bed rest. As a result, Steven had to give up his job to look after his children and wife. Steven didn't know how he was going to manage Christmas.
We gave him a £50 voucher for the supermarket, free fruit, vegetables, bread, some tins and mince pies. In addition we provided a Barbie dream house complete with wrapping paper. He was overwhelmed and kept asking "Are you sure?".
Since Christmas, Steven continues to use our supermarket and is also receiving support from Social Services and other agencies. He knows that we are here to support him as and when he needs us.
*Steven is not his real name
If you'd like to help The Feed in 2024 let us know!
Whether it's fundraising, volunteering, sharing skills from your business, supplying food or something else, email Chris Elliott, our Marketing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org