A new project has been launched in Preston to help residents work together to reduce their expenditure and tackle food poverty.
Three community groups in the city will work with residents to form food buying co-operatives, where groups of residents pool their resources to access better quality food at more affordable prices.
The twelve week pilot project will see community groups in the city work with co-operative organisations to set up trial schemes with a number of groups of around twenty households each.
The three community organisations, Preston Windrush Generation Descendants Group, Fishwick Rangers and Preston United Youth Development Programme will be supported by the Preston Co-operative Development Network (PCDN), co-operative development agency Stir to Action and a team from Co-operation Town, a new network of community-led food buying co-operatives. The project is funded by the Co-operative Group via Co-operatives UK.
As the pilot project develops, the community organisations and the PCDN will share their learning with Preston’s Community Food Hub Network which has played a crucial role in supporting communities across Preston during the pandemic. Project partners will also reach out to other co-operative food initiatives in Preston.
The work comes following the launch of Preston City Council’s Community Wealth Building Strategy which focuses on recovery from Covid-19 and developing community resilience.
Initiatives like this play a key part in community wealth building and are part of the council’s ambition to bring about a more democratic and people focussed economy in the city.