By Aaron Murphy
I was really taken with a TV Programme that I saw recently; The People’s Supermarket. Perhaps the reason for my interest stems from the fact that I am a student struggling to get by on under £20 a week! This year I have really noticed an increase in food prices especially in comparison to two years ago when I was an undergraduate. Therefore, early on in semester one I made a pact with myself; not to shop at Tesco! I dread to imagine the percentage of my student loan that I spent in that oh so conveniently located Jesmond store. This year, bar the occasional rummage around supermarket bins with a few friends of a Sunday evening (didn’t you know? it’s all the rage these days – you never know what treats await your dangling hands!), I have done the majority of my shopping at the Grainger Market, and it is not only my purse that has reaped the benefits. I have found the vegetables to be of a higher standard, the staff a delight to talk to and I have always left feeling as though I have done something to help the independent business person.
Herein lays the motto at the heart of the Peoples Supermarket; ‘For the People by the People’. The concept is simple: members of the community get involved by working voluntary shifts at the supermarket, and in return prices drop. The concept is not new. This kind of thing is going on at much larger scale in cities such as New York. However, it would be great to see a growth of this kind of community action across England. For this reason I thought a ‘Peoples Supermarket’ would work wonders at our sustainable masterplan for the Freight Depot Site. Let’s hope ideas such as this actually go ahead and don’t get trampled upon by greedy developers!