A voucher scheme aimed at giving low-income families access to fresh fruit and vegetables has been expanded so that recipients can now spent their vouchers at the Borough Food Cooperative in London.
Run by Alexandra Rose Charity, the Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project launched in the London borough of Southwark in 2018. Families with young children under five years old collect their vouchers every week and spend them at their local market or greengrocer on the fruit and veg of their choice.
Over the last four years, 1,105 families in Southwark have received Rose Vouchers, with £314,454 worth of Rose Vouchers spent on fruit and veg to date.
The Borough Food Cooperative, which is open to all, is situated near Borough Market and launched in 2020 in response to the pandemic. It stocks a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, which come from donations by traders in Borough Market and The Felix Project and FareShare.
Brian Cummings, assistant food hub manager at Borough Food Cooperative, said: “We’re thrilled to join the Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project by setting up as a distributor and trader.
“We hope this will allow even more families to access fresh fruit and vegetables with a location in North Southwark and a bountiful supply of fruit and veg.
“Vouchers can be used on their own for fresh fruit and veg or in addition to a shop for £4.50. Our collection/registration time is currently Thursdays from 12.30 to 14.15, and vouchers can be used at any time the shop is open.”
The Food Cooperative joins fruit and veg traders in East Street Market and Peckham, where families can also spend their Rose Vouchers. One Rose Voucher is worth £1 and can be spent on any fruit and veg of the family’s choice.
As a Rose Voucher distributor and trader, families can collect their vouchers at the Borough Food Cooperative and can spend them at the same time. This saves the family time and the cost of travel between different locations.
Hannah Dakin, operations project manager of the Alexandra Rose Charity, said; “We’re delighted that the Borough Food Cooperative has joined our Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project. They are the first Food Cooperative to join the project and are a fantastic addition to our offer for families in Southwark. We look forward to working with them and helping more families to access fresh fruit and veg.”
Families receiving Rose Vouchers can also benefit from access to the Food Cooperative’s pantry, where for £4.50 per shop, they can purchase £15-25 worth of groceries.
The Food Cooperative operates from the crypt of St George the Martyr Church on Borough High Street, SE1 1JA.