Southwark market traders have helped over a thousand families to avoid food poverty and access quarter of a million pounds worth of fruit and veg at a third the price over the last three years.
This was made possible by the Alexandra Rose Charity, which has been running its Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg project in Southwark since 2018, and which last week celebrated their achievement on East Street Market.
The Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project partners with local Children’s Centres to give families vouchers which they can then exchange for fresh fruit and veg from local market traders.
A recent survey showed that buying food from the market in this way was a third of the price of the neighbouring supermarkets.
Jonathan Pauling, Chief Executive at the Alexandra Rose Charity, said: “Everyone should have access to a healthy, sustainable, local food economy.
“The long term health of local communities relies on their ability to access healthy and affordable food easily.”
Last Tuesday’s celebration, which included a cooking demonstration and free fruit and veg for children, was the culmination of the charity working for nine months with retail consultants Rice Marketing to engage market traders and attract new customers to the Rose Vouchers Project.
Jonathan added: “We want local stakeholders to realise what a key public health service Southwark’s local market traders provide.”
Stephanie Rice at Rice Retail Marketing said: “We have increased voucher redemption by an incredible 10% since December 2020, with 9 out of 10 vouchers given out now being spent.”
The project has also been supported by Burgess Park-based 1st Place Children & Parents’ Centre, who have supported families to access the vouchers.