Shropshire Star

Rebranding gives social supermarket and food bank a new identity ahead of Christmas 'surge' in need

A store and food bank operation in Telford has changed its name to bring all the diverse sides of the enterprise together under a clear brand.

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Foodshare project in Wellington, now NotJUST a food bank. Founder Lea Beven(corr) is pictured right, with Andy Falconer, Paula Urquhart, Shane Heath and Thomas Whitehouse all from Enterprise, and they are pictured at Morrisons, Wellington, who are donating lots of food.

The discount store formerly known as Save It, in Bridge Road, Wellington, is now called NotJUST a store, with the food bank side of the operation called NotJUST a food bank.

Then there are NotJUST a cafe in Andover, NotJUST a pet food bank and so on. Altogether it is a non-profit collaboration of multiple humanitarian and waste prevention projects running since 2015.

Lea Beven, the founder and owner of three such ventures across the country, said they have changed the name because the operation has "grown so big, with so many sides" that a single identity was needed to bring it all together.

"We are NotJUST a store and NotJUST a food bank. We are an environmentally conscious, innovative, and ethical new way to do your shopping."

The enterprise, formerly known as the Foodshare Project, is now so big that it has been able to send a massive 889 pallets of aid to Ukraine, as well as run a shop that provides the income and produce for the much needed food bank.

They work with distributors all over the UK that end up with food and items that are past best before and surplus, and save it from landfill in bulk.

The food is then sorted into food banks, shared with smaller community groups, and into stores. It is a 'social supermarket' that is open to every member of the public: no membership required.

NotJUST has recently been boosted by support from Shrewsbury Enterprise Flex-E-Rent who provide not only a fleet of vehicles but the time of volunteers. The volunteers recently helped out for a day at the Wellington Morrisons store where they had a pop-up collection point.

Lea said: "We wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our friends at the Shrewsbury Enterprise Flex-E-Rent Division, whose generosity will see us equipped with vehicles throughout the festive season so we can save as much surplus food as possible, with food bank collections planned for the entire upcoming year.

"Quite simply, it means we can do more. It means more food for our food bank, and more food for our fundraising so we can carry out even more community-minded shenanigans."

She added that the support of the fleet is "absolutely vital to our project, particularly over this winter.

"Thanks to the unrelenting cost of living crisis we are expecting a surge in the amount of people needing help in the next few months... and a decent amount of them would have never had to use a food bank before."

They have also launched a campaign called #notjust3quid where they are asking people to buy as much food as they can for £3 and donate it to their local food bank.

Lea said: "In order to support our own food bank and as many food banks as possible in the UK we have launched the £3 challenge.

"The rules are oh-so-simple: buy as much food as possible from your local supermarket for £3, and then donate it to your local food bank.

"Share a snapshot of yourself and your goodies using #notjust3quid, so as many people as possible will see how fabulous and generous you are and be inspired to take part themselves.

"Don’t forget to tag your local food bank! For more information please head to the NotJUST website. "