IP17GNS’ Social Supermarket Explained

What is the Social Supermarket?


Our Social Supermarket is a way to help those facing food poverty to stretch their budget further.  It’s not a food bank (though we do also offer emergency food supplies for those in crisis).

Our Social Supermarket opens once a week, the shelves are stocked with essentials either donated by you & the supermarkets, purchased by us, or sourced via Fare Share (we pay to receive a set weight of supermarket over-stock or items close to their BBE). Shoppers come along, and for £3.50, they can fill their bags with £12-£25 worth of shopping. It’s not a food bank, but it is designed to stop people from needing one and reaching crisis point.


Each month we support dozens of households tackling food poverty. As food prices rise and donations drop off after winter; we need your support more than ever to keep the Social Supermarket running and stocked with healthy food.Members sign up to visit once a week and shop for food and household essentials at subsidised pricing, helping you to cover the basics at a fraction of the cost.


How does it work?


Sign up as a member – it’s free to join – and you can visit one of our open sessions.  At the session you pay £3.50 to shop.  In exchange you can choose items which would costs £12-£20 in regular shops.  There is a ‘dot-system’ in place to help us value items and to help you choose your shopping.  It’s straightforward, but one of our friendly volunteers can explain it when you visit. 

There will also be some freebies at most sessions too.  These may be things that are close or past their BBE, donations given for a specific purpose, or things we have an abundance of.


Who can become a member?


Unlike lots of food banks or interventions, the Social Supermarket is not means-tested.  It is designed to support those experience either short, or long-term financial hardship or food poverty.

In order to direct our resources towards our immediate local community, membership is limited to those living in Saxmundham or the immediate surrounding villages.


Where is the Social Supermarket?

 The Social Supermarket is located at the back of the IP17GNS offices:

The Town House, Saxmundham, IP171BW

Want to donate?

We need everyone’s help to keep this vital lifeline afloat. 

Please bring along food to donate to The Town House, Saxmundham between 10 am – 2 pm Monday-Friday, or donate cash via one of these methods:


If you can donate your time to help stack shelves, manage stock or help shoppers during sessions, sign up to be an IP17GNS volunteer here. Or email help@ip17gns.com to enquire about available roles.