Community Shop On the Go

Social supermarket Community Shop has partnered with Ocado to launch a roaming pop-up shop service.

The ‘On the Go’ service will provide six of the most deprived communities in England with immediate food access, via a ‘mobile version’ of its redistribution supermarket.

Eligible families visiting the “fully stocked” mobile shops can put together a shopping basket of healthy, staple foods and household products for around £3. The new initiative will also share food education services, “helping more people to learn about healthy, affordable and sustainable eating to deliver longer-term impact for communities”.

An initial pilot of the mobile service redistributed more than 11,000 products to families in Barnsley and received excellent feedback from users, Community Shop said. Additional funding from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council means the new service will expand to six further locations in 2024, reaching an additional 10,000 families. Ocado donated a dedicated van to the project.

“We are very excited to officially be launching Community Shop ‘On the Go’, which will expand our efforts to tackle food waste across the nation, and bring vital food access and educational support to families,” said Gary Stott, executive chairman of Community Shop.

“Reflecting on a decade of Community Shop, we have seen just how much of a difference our community hubs and kitchens make to families and those struggling with food insecurity. However, we know there is more to be done, and we are committed to bringing the impact of our stores to as many people as possible through our ‘On the Go’ programme.”


Part of Company Shop Group, the UK’s largest surplus food redistributor, Community Shop is the UK’s “first social supermarket chain” and has a network of 12 member-only stores based within some of the UK’s most deprived communities. It takes donated surplus products from retailers, producers, and growers to offer high-quality, deeply discounted food and household products to those most in need.

“We would encourage businesses who want to do something wholly positive with their surplus to get in touch and find out more about what Community Shop can do,” Stott added.

Redistribution supermarkets take surplus food from retailers, such as supermarkets, wholesalers or directly from farmers, to help people experiencing food insecurity. According to latest figures from Wrap, the amount of surplus food being redistributed in the UK has increased by around 29,000 tonnes (27%) compared with 2021, equivalent to 70 million more meals.

In the UK, there are considerably fewer social supermarkets relative to food banks, with the first having opened in 2013.