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Tokoroa Social Supermarket Ready For First Christmas

The Tokoroa Social Supermarket is ready for its first Christmas of providing food support.

The social supermarket, which opened in August, is a partnership between Buttabean Motivation (BBM) and Foodstuffs North Island, a 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative behind New World, PAK’nSAVE and Four Square in North Island.

Social supermarkets enable people who are experiencing food insecurity to choose what they need for themselves in a supermarket-style environment – rather than collecting a pre-filled food parcel, that might not meet their specific dietary, cultural or personal needs.

BBM Founder, Dave Latele says having access to a social supermarket will provide a sense of relief for many whānau across the community this Christmas.

“We are in a cost of living crisis and with Christmas fast approaching there is a lot of pressure on families to survive on very little, which is where we come in. Our social supermarket is a beacon of hope for those who simply just can't afford to shop for food. Having the choice to shop for items they know their family will want to eat and will enjoy makes it special, especially at this timeof year.”

The social supermarket programme is part of Foodstuffs’ commitment to be ‘Here for NZ’, helping to ensure all New Zealanders have access to healthy, affordable food and supporting local communities to thrive.

Dave says: “We had one shopper who would never reach out and ask for help, but she’d returned from a family bereavement out of town and realised there was no food in the cupboards for her children. She went online and got in touch and couldn't believe how easy the application process was. She was able to shop and thoroughly enjoyed her experience, so much so that when she was able to, she donated food to give back and pay it forward for others.”

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“This Christmas, what we need is kindness. We try our hardest to give our shoppers the best experience when they walk through our doors. We understand how tough it can be to ask for help and we see the shame that people carry. Our sincere hope is shoppers leave the social supermarket feeling happy and dignified.”

Foodstuffs North Island are wanting to take some of the festive stress off the shoulders of whānau this year to make the big day more enjoyable. In the spirit of Christmas, the Foodstuffs team have partnered with Pams and Farmland to put together hampers full of Christmas goodies for distribution at the Tokoroa Social Supermarket. Each hamper will contain the ingredients and recipe cards to make some delicious and nutritious kiwi classic Christmas dishes such as glazed ham, potato salad, seafood salad and pavlova.

Willa Hand, Head of Membership Experience for Foodstuffs North Island says: “The team at Tokoroa Social Supermarket are doing a fantastic job of supporting their local community. In the short time they’ve been open they’re already helping around 30 families each week with shoppers completing over 400 transactions. There can be a lot of expectation that comes with Christmas which makes it a magical time, but also a challenging time for many. As a 100-year-old co-operative, we want to be Here for NZ, which is why we’re stepping up to make a difference through our support of social supermarkets, like the one in Tokoroa.”

Tokoroa Social Supermarket is Foodstuffs North Island’s third social supermarket partnership. The 100% New Zealand owned and operated co-operative has recently announced plans to roll out its social supermarket initiative to more communities in the year ahead.

Tokoroa Social Supermarket relies on community support and welcomes donations in the form of funds and food donations - and can be contacted at

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