YMCA Youth Advice Centre open a sustainable food market in Brighton and Hove

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YMCA YAC Brighton have opened a Youth-Led sustainable social grocery store for anyone aged 16-25, living in the Brighton and Hove area.

The aim of  the Food Market is to support young people in accessing healthy, low-cost foods and shopping products at a simple one-stop shop. It is an easy way for young people who struggle to afford the rising cost of goods to access locally produced fresh foods and supermarket surplus, as well as providing a modern and sustainable approach to food waste and food poverty.

The Food Market is not a foodbank but there are supported memberships for people who have previously used one or who are in a food emergency so they can access food for free and in a positive and empowering way.

The Food Market has been set up in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, FareShare Sussex, Neighbourly, Brighton & Hove Food Factory, and Sussex University.

How does the Food Market work?

Young people pay a small weekly membership fee, and in return they will be able to access fresh, local produce and stock cupboard items.

Young people can visit the Food Market on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 3pm-5pm at 11 St Georges Place, BN1 4GB.

How much does it cost?

There are two tiers of membership to the Food Market:

Our YAC-Extra / Solidarity Memberships are suggested donations of:

  • YAC-Extra Small Shop – £6 – (15 items)
  • YAC-Extra Large Shop – £8 – (20 items)

For those struggling to make ends meet, are unemployed or long-term sick, have debts preventing them meeting their basic needs or need support from the government or other services, then the Standard Rate Membership is available:

  • Small Shop – £4 – (15 items)
  • Large Shop – £6 – (20 items)

Additionally, members are charged a £1 sign-up fee, once a year.

YMCA YAC will work to provide grab-bag free meals to those who are in need, supported by funds raised from others paying membership or solidarity fees. These meals will support our community of young people who may be rough sleeping, in emergency accommodation, young families, or other emergency food needs.

Where does the food come from?

Most of the food at YAC Food Market comes from high-quality surplus or donated supplies. Some of the food will be provided through donations from local businesses, and some from Fareshare (a national organisation who redistribute surplus and excess food to community schemes).

Some of the fresh fruit and veg, dairy products and eggs are provided by Brighton and Hove Food Factory, a non-profit organisation providing locally sourced fresh produce to local communities. The supplies are supplemented by buying certain items to make sure there is always a good selection available.

Solidarity at YAC Food Market – What does it mean?

YMCA YAC will be striving for equity and solidarity at our Food Market. Our aim is to ensure that everyone has access to the same food regardless of their situation, functioning on the understanding that some in our community might need more support than others.

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YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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