A pair of council workers are planning to launch a food service with a difference for hard-up families.
Pauline Lockhart and Carol Malone want to provide a social supermarket where people pay very low prices for shopping and turn the idea into a self-sustaining service.
They have founded the project, called Community First, to help feed families on benefits or low incomes.
Pauline, from Carnoustie, said: “We have found a property in Forfar which would be suitable for the first social supermarket and are negotiating with a landlord and we eventually hope to roll one out in every town.
“We want to get rid of the stigma of asking for help and we know that food banks do a fantastic job, but we would like to give people the chance to shop again and to make this self-sustainable.”
Another idea for the project is to set up a membership card system rather than people having to provide proof of benefits.
Pauline said: “Research shows people want to pay for things.
“And this is one of the pieces of work we’ve asked the Aberdeen University to help us with and what the membership card system is looking into because there will be some people who just don’t have any money at all.
“However, in the meantime, we think pricing should be as low as possible so, for example, we’ve worked out that a meal for four consisting of meat and two veg which would normally be approximately £6.50 could be bought for £2.50.
“People will have the opportunity to donate more for that basket of shopping if they feel they are in a position to do so.
“Everyone loves a bargain, everyone wants to reduce waste and I believe everyone is essentially good and wants to help out.”
Pauline and Carol both work for Angus Council in community teams and have seen the extent of poverty in the surrounding areas.
Pauline added: “We realise councils’ hands are tied for a variety of reasons and we want to set up this alternative model to help.
“We are still in talks for the Forfar shop, but we hope to launch this early in the new year.”