The collaboration is part of the Real Food Store’s ‘Round It Up’ scheme, launched at the beginning of February. The scheme gives shoppers the option of rounding up their bill to the nearest pound, with the proceeds being used to provide vouchers to be distributed by Exeter Foodbank. The aim is to support individuals who wouldn't normally have access to fresh, local and organic food with the opportunity to make independent shopping decisions.
The idea for the scheme came from a ‘call for ideas’ put out by the Real Food Store during the first lockdown, when staff, members, customers and suppliers were encouraged to contribute ideas to develop and enhance the store’s social impact. A common trend among the ideas that came back was a call for collaboration with the wider Exeter community around food justice and positive social action.
Les Bright, a member of the Real Food Store’s Board of Directors and a Foodbank volunteer, said: “ ‘Round It Up’ is our way of supporting the Foodbank’s fantastic work providing essential grocery items to local people in need. Crucially, this scheme empowers people by giving them the opportunity to choose fresh local produce, paid for with Real Food vouchers we will be donating to the Foodbank. Providing choices was a key motivator for us.”
“The Real Food Store exists to support local supply chains, sustainable food and responsible producers, and empower the local community to do the same through their shopping decisions. Our partnership with Exeter Foodbank will greatly help us as we seek to continually boost our social impact and support local communities.”
Foodbank Manager Mark Richardson said: “We are delighted to be partnering with The Real Food Store to provide hard-hit local people with greater autonomy over their food choices. Since the Foodbank’s launch in 2008, we have grown to a team of over 100 volunteers and have supported countless individuals facing incredibly difficult circumstances. Collaboration is key to our operation, and we are confident that this new partnership with the Real Food Store will have a positive impact on the service we provide.”