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Nottingham food project struggling to cope with queues as cost of living crisis soars

todayJune 23, 2022 2

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It’s a blisteringly hot Wednesday morning and already the queue for Sneinton’s Foodprint Shop has 15 people outside waiting. Foodprint, a social enterprise selling surplus food stock, has had to open a second day midweek to accommodate the growing queues due to the cost of living crisis.

Deputy Director Shoana Qureshi-Khan said: “We’ve seen the volume of people coming here increase by four times the amount since we took it over. We get a range of people coming in from all different backgrounds and now we get queues. The Saturday morning queue can start at 7:30 then it’s chaos here with about 150 people coming in. We have only been open on Wednesday mornings for three weeks now.”

Amber Jasmine from Sneinton has been queueing all morning in the heat with one of her children. She is a regular user of Foodprint and praises the help that Shoana and Nadeem, the store manager, have been able to give her.



L- R) Deputy director of Himmah, Shoana Qureshi-Khan and store manager Nadeem Ahmed pictured at Foodprint in Sneinton Road, Sneinton, Nottingham.
L- R) Deputy director of Himmah, Shoana Qureshi-Khan and store manager Nadeem Ahmed pictured at Foodprint in Sneinton Road, Sneinton, Nottingham.

“It’s the affordability that brings me here as stores have become so expensive and I have four children. They are doing exams and need food for energy. If I go to other stores, I get less so the children are hungry. They get free school dinners but they only get a sandwich and a drink – that’s not enough to feed them so I wait in the queue because I get more here,” she said.

“My son is high functioning autistic and ADHD so he is a fussy eater. My money mainly goes on him so the other children suffer. It’s either I pay the gas and electric or I get food in.”

Shoana highlighted that this is something that the volunteers at Foodprint have heard a lot of and it changed the food they have on offer. Some shoppers are unable to cook vegetables like potatoes or butternut squash because they cannot afford to switch the gas on.

“We are hearing about gas and electric from shoppers more now. We have had discussions around the type of surplus food we were getting in because we got lots of cabbages or swedes in. We had to say, people haven’t got the gas to cook these items. You need to send us items that people can put together and cook because people are struggling even with potatoes.”

“Our suppliers have been great at changing the stock as a result. Some people have had to switch off the gas completely or only cook on one hob or rely on microwaveable meals because it’s cheaper – this is people’s lived reality,” she said.

The growth in demand hasn’t just meant opening the shop for an extra day but the team is also considering opening a second location in Bulwell. This will be welcome news to some of the shoppers who travel great distances to use the Sneinton base.

Mary Clarke, 69 has walked into town from Bestwood as her bus pass isn’t working. She normally travels on two buses to get to the shop.

“The prices are great here and it saves me a lot of money because it’s affordable. Prices for things have gone up so this is a good place to come. I normally shop at Aldi but the prices are better here. My gas and electric have gone up massively which is why I get two buses. My bus pass doesn’t start until 9:30 so I walked into town then I get the bus here because it’s free – I come for the bargains,” she said.

Demand has meant that the shop is struggling to keep products in stock. The team is desperately reaching out to businesses or people to come forward and donate so they have items to sell. It’s not just about the sales as Foodprint also works with those who cannot afford to buy food and can help with getting people in touch with food banks.



A general view inside Foodprint in Sneinton Road, Sneinton, Nottingham.
A general view inside Foodprint in Sneinton Road, Sneinton, Nottingham.

National network of food redistributors, Fair Share supports the project and bring in surplus stock from places like Coop but Shoana stressed that there needs to be donations as the queues are getting bigger.

“We are struggling to keep on top of it. If there are local businesses out there that have surplus stock, we would be really grateful for a donation. It’s a growing need and people are managing their budgets so they have enough to survive and pop the heating on. Our worry is that demand is increasing and we need to maintain supply which we can’t do unless more people or businesses come forward.”

When it comes to change, Shoana believes that it needs to come from the top and it needs to happen soon to protect younger generations.

Change has to come from the top. They know the British public are struggling and there are benefit cuts, low wages amid price increases. The working class has no chance in this struggle at the moment as the divide between the rich and poor is getting wider. We have to hit this from the top and understand how we are affecting people. We need to do something about it for the next generation.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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