A new low-cost grocery store that offers twelve items for less than five pounds has opened in Ilford town centre.
Ilford Community Grocery, on the ground floor of City Gates Church in Clements Road, opened two weeks ago.
After paying £5 for membership, shoppers can visit twice a week to buy twelve items with a retail price of around £25 for only £4.
Items available include fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods, frozen foods and occasional specialities like parma ham.
Store manager Alvaro Adair, 56, described the store as a “bridge between a food bank and a supermarket” that is aimed at the most in need but available to anyone.
He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I would say that there’s enough land and food in the world that no one should be going without.
“To think in this country kids are going to sleep hungry… it’s so rewarding to be part of the solution.”
The store, an initiative by Christian charity The Message Trust, is the first of its kind in London but part of a wider national network of 18 stores that help feed more than 30,000 families.
The food being sold is sometimes past its best-before date and comes from donations from supermarkets, purchases by The Message Trust and other subsidies.
Members can also access courses teaching cookery, debt management skills and mental health awareness.
It opened on March 28 in partnership with pentecostal City Gates Church and with support from Redbridge Council.