Increasing access to free or low cost healthy food

Sarah lives in Wem and finds the Co-op expensive. She would like to shop at Farm foods, but cannot afford the bus fare into Shrewsbury. She contacted Iceland to see if they would deliver, but they told her they do not cover the Wem area.​

People on low incomes  need to be able to access to low cost, healthy food. However, many people living in poverty do not have a car and cuts to public transport, particularly in rural areas, makes it difficult for families to access cheaper supermarkets. Even in towns access is an issue for those without their own transport.

Food prices rose 28% in UK between 2007 and 2016. Smaller towns and villages have limited food outlets, and food is often sold at a premium rate with few healthy options​.

Shropshire Food Projects

There are a range of community led initiatives already running across the county which help improve access to low cost healthy food:

In Shrewsbury, Riversway Elim Church holds an open table three times a week. Surplus food from local supermarkets is available for local residents to take away free of charge.  They are also starting a community fridge.

In Ludlow, the Rockspring Community Centre hold a weekly meal for the community. For £2 diners are able to come together to enjoy a hot meal and a pudding.

Shrewsbury Food Hub collects surplus food from supermarkets and delivers it to community groups who can make good use of it. Many of these groups work with people at risk of food poverty.

In Oswestry OsNosh prepare a weekly lunch on market day which is open to all on a Pay as You Feel basis. Using surplus food they are able to feed anyone in the community at a low cost, bringing people together to share a meal.

In the heart of Wem Incredible Edible grow fresh fruit and vegetables which are available for anyone from the community to harvest for free.

The Crossbar Foundation run low cost multi-sport holiday camps across Shrewsbury and Telford. They use surplus food ensure that children have access to healthy food throughout the day and to engage children in issues surrounding health and wellbeing.