Wellington City Mission and New World introduce innovative new Social Supermarket

Tuesday 17 March 2021

Wellington City Mission, supported by New World, have come together to introduce an innovative new Social Supermarket, improving food security for Wellingtonians in need.

In a shift from the traditional City Mission food parcel model, the Mission’s Social Supermarket, a small store located near its Newtown address, puts shopper experience and choice at the heart of its new initiative.

When the social supermarket opens on 16 March, instead of collecting a pre-selected food parcel from Wellington City Mission, customers who need food support will be able to choose their own goods from a wide selection of food and essentials in a normal supermarket environment.
Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge says the approach gives people the dignity of choice.

“We can only imagine how hard it must be for someone to ask for food support. The concept of the Social Supermarket is about providing dignity, self-respect and encouragement to those who are vulnerable in our local community.”

The Social Supermarket will be open and free to anyone across the Wellington region in need of some extra help. This includes those currently being supported by, or new to The Mission, and those being supported or referred by other social service agencies.

Shoppers at the Social Supermarket will be hosted and supported to select an appropriate range of products to meet their needs and those of their whānau. Customers will also be offered budgeting support, with social workers available to assist, along with a full-time store manager.

“We wanted to a make a positive change to our Foodbank model,” says Edridge. “We already had a close working relationship with New World across Wellington, they’re always hugely supportive with donations and through their annual Family2Family Foodbank Appeal, so when we started to develop the Social Supermarket concept, we picked the phone up and asked for their help.

Straight away the New World team understood what we wanted to achieve and how important it was to bring an authentic supermarket experience to individuals and families who are experiencing financial stress and food insecurity.

As lead supporters of the project, the team have been with us every step of the way, providing valuable expertise, logistical support and equipment such as shelving and fridges for food displays.”

Chris Quin, CEO of Foodstuffs North Island who operate New World, says the partnership is a natural extension of a long-standing relationship between New World, it’s local owner operators and Wellington City Mission. Working together on the Social Supermarket, which is a first of its kind in New Zealand, provided an opportunity to extend the co-operative’s commitment to helping ensure all New Zealanders have access to healthy food.

“When Wellington City Mission approached us, we jumped at the opportunity to lend our support and expertise, and the experience has been extremely rewarding for everyone involved. The team in Wellington have loved setting up the store and working alongside the Mission team to establish a permanent facility as part of being here for New Zealand.

“We know that many in our communities are facing increasing hardship and uncertainty, and across New Zealand food insecurity continues to rise. This is one of the key reasons we launched our ‘Here for New Zealand’ commitment last year, and we’re really proud to partner with organisations such as Wellington City Mission, who specialise in providing fantastic support to those who need it” Quin says.

The Wellington City Mission’s Social Supermarket will officially open to customers on Tuesday 16th March 2020 by appointment. Located at 15 Gordon Place, Newtown, Wellington, opening hours are weekdays 9.30am to 3.30pm.

If you need food support or would like to refer someone to The Mission’s Social Supermarket, please contact The Mission’s main reception on 04 245 0900 or email: enquiries@wgtncitymission.org.nz.

You can donate to The Mission’s Social Supermarket by dropping food products to reception, located at 19 Gordon Place, Newtown, Wellington.

For more information about Foodstuffs’ commitment to be HereforNZ go to: Here for NZ | Foodstuffs.


Media contact: Bridget Child, 022 150 7731

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