On Tuesday 26 February, after months of hard work from resident volunteers such as Evelyn Tenants and Residents Association (TRA), and the support of Lewisham Homes Community Relations Team, the Evelyn Community Store opened its doors to residents.
Based in Evelyn Community Centre, the Community Store works on a membership basis in conjunction with national charity, FareShare. The Community Store pays a membership to FareShare who then collect good quality surplus food from supermarkets and redistributes it to the Community Store and other community groups. Residents on low incomes who struggle to pay bills sign up to become members of the Store. They pay £3.50 a week and in return are provided with fresh fruit and veg, frozen foods, tinned foods, meats, toiletries etc.
The store currently has fifteen resident volunteers who help the running of the shop when it is open, including cleaning the Store and accepting food deliveries. The Store is open every Tuesday from 5 – 7pm for approved members.
So far Lewisham Homes have trained eight residents in Health and Food Hygiene Level 2, signed up 20 households to shop at the Community Store and have another 20 households on the waiting list. They are hoping to expand the membership to 40 in the coming weeks.
Travis Perkins Managed Services contributed £22,000 to this community initiative.