Reinventing the Food Bank with Moulsecoomb Community Market

A volunteer infront of tables lined with tins of food

Moulsecoomb Community Market is a community-led initiative bringing affordable food to residents of Moulsecoomb & Bevendean. It is supported by our new partners, The Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. 

The Market was launched in September by councillor Kate Knight, in response to the huge increase in the number of people needing access to emergency food parcels in the wake of COVID-19. Kate says that an article by Jay Rayner about food poverty was the decider for her. Kate takes donations from Morrisons, Lidl, Pets & Home, Fareshare Sussex and Brighton Food Factory among others.

The Market works on a membership scheme. Members pay £1 to sign up and then for £3.50 they can do their weekly shop. With no referral scheme, anyone in the area can become a member, and everyone is made to feel welcome. Just like at a regular supermarket, customers receive a list and a basket, but items are colour coded, and participants can choose a certain number of each as well as freebies.

All sorts of items are available at the market, from tinned fruit to fresh seasonal fruit and veg, cereal, flour, rice, toiletries and pet food. On the day we attended, children’s lunch boxes had been supplied by local seafood restaurant Riddle and Finns and organic veg boxes were offered at subsidised prices from Very Local Food Hubs. 

The service is a friendly and supportive one that allows customers the freedom to choose their own shopping. If someone who has signed up to the scheme doesn’t show up one week or is unwell then it is not uncommon for them to get a friendly phone call and a delivery to their door. The project is run entirely by an all-volunteer team and supported by partnered projects.

Mouslecoomb Community Market runs from 10 am – 12 pm every Weds at St. George’s Hall, 140 Newick Rd, BN1 9JG.

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