SPAR NI stores partner with local food bank to restore dignity to community

October 29, 2021 IN THE CATEGORY: Community, Responsible retailing

  • Julie Lillie from EUROSPAR Ladas Drive, Alli Steen from The Larder and Wendy Smith from EUROSPAR Ballyhackamore are pictured at the Mersey Street food bank.

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Two SPAR NI stores in East Belfast have recently partnered with The Larder food bank to introduce a new shop display format, helping create a sense of belonging for those who find themselves in need.

The Larder provides around 80 food parcels to local households per week. After the easing of lockdown restrictions, the Mersey Street food bank decided it was time to reconsider how they offer their services.

Partnering with SPAR NI, the organisation has installed five bays of shelving, built by the SPAR operator’s merchandising team, to bring more of a shopping experience for the centre’s users.

Alli Steen from The Larder stated, “We should not have to rely on emergency food indefinitely. However, without serious welfare reform, this is the lived reality of many people. As furlough schemes end, we will see many more in need of intervention as their cupboards grow bare.

“[SPAR NI operator] Henderson Retail donated food and helped create a store feel with atmosphere to help users feel like they’re shopping and not just picking up donations.” 

Wendy Smith and Julie Lillie from EUROSPAR Ballyhackamore and EUROSPAR Ladas Drive, also serving the East Belfast community, have been working hard to support The Larder with donations of groceries for the past two years. 

“Our EUROSPAR stores have been committed to ensuring our local community has access to essential groceries. We’re delighted to support The Larder with their fresh look and feel centre. Services like these are vital to our local communities, especially as we start to rebuild from the most challenging months for households across the country”, said Wendy Smith.

Source: SPAR UK

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The UK became a SPAR member in 1956 when SPAR International granted the SPAR licence to a group of independent wholesalers. There are now five regional partners in the UK. A central office in London provides national marketing and buying services for the group.

SPAR has led the highly competitive convenience market in the UK for many years. Always innovative, the five regional partners have continued to grow the brand. SPAR UK comprises independently owned licensed retailers and company-owned stores. These include forecourts, airports, train stations, city centres, and local neighbourhood stores.

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