How the student-led initiative ‘Foodprint’ provided hundreds with food during the pandemic
They helped impact around 100 families who would otherwise be unable to afford buying food
University of Nottingham student-led social enterprise Foodprint is a surplus supermarket and redistribution network, that has worked tirelessly throughout the coronavirus period to step up its demand for people in need.
Run by Notts students and local volunteers, the award-winning social enterprise, supported by Enactus Nottingham, redistributes food from supermarkets, wholesalers and charities to the people of Nottingham.
The Foodprint supermarket in Sneinton also sells and delivers unsold food, still good to eat, which the large supermarket chains would otherwise get rid of and end up as waste.
Since its launch in 2017, Foodprint has been supplying food to around 600 households, food banks, homeless shelters and school breakfast clubs in inner city Nottingham. Despite this however, the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown presented new challenges to the organisation, causing a dramatic increase in demand.
Izzy Corlett, FoodPrint Marketing manager and second year Human Geography student at UoN, told The Nottingham Tab that one of the organisations biggest challenges followed the uni’s closure, when the majority of the management team and volunteers went home to their families.
Izzy said, “We all felt that it was tough to make decisions because of course this virus is completely unprecedented so there was no protocol. We knew that many rely on us to get affordable food so shutting wasn’t really an option”. She continued, “We knew it would be tough but we have managed really well as a team and with the help of our volunteers and partners.”
In order to overcome this issue, they planned regular video calls in order to shift operations and keep everyone safe. Izzy said that Foodprint was “lucky to have lots of new volunteers from the community come to help run the store so we didn’t have to close.” To ensure the safety of their customers, and to maintain their service, they ran the store from the front door.
Thanks to their ongoing effort, alongside new partnerships with other charities and organisations in Nottingham, Foodprint was able to expand its redistribution service to more vulnerable people in the community.
As a result, Foodprint has helped impact around 100 families in the city who would otherwise be unable to afford buying food from large supermarkets.
Foodprint have also started up a delivery van, in order to distribute food to elderly people and those too who are self-isolating because they are too vulnerable to go to the shops.
Chris Hyland, Foodprint Director and second year Economics student at UoN told the Nottingham Tab about his passion for the initiative: “I’ve never cared more about a project than Foodprint. Along with its environmental benefits and the fantastic charities it supports, for me the most rewarding aspect is seeing first-hand the store’s impact on the local community.”
Chris continued, “I’ve seen it help families with small change left to get them through a week, give a loyal volunteer the skills and support to gain full-time employment, and provide a safe space for socially isolated individuals to have a natter. I’m not from Nottingham, but the thought of helplessly twiddling my thumbs back home while I could be here keeping it open meant sticking around during lockdown was the obvious choice.”
Foodprint are always looking for volunteers, support, or anyone interested in sustainability. Their shop in Sneinton will be re-opening full time as of this weekend.
If you are interested in volunteering or contributing your services to the initiative, then get in touch via the following email: [email protected]