BrightStore is an affordable food scheme and was one of six community food pilot projects set up across Brighton and Hove in October 2020 to help tackle food insecurity in a more long-term, sustainable way.
The idea for BrightStore came from the shared experiences of a small group of people volunteering on a number of food projects in the city during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.
From the beginning, our vision for BrightStore was to create a long-term, local and environmentally sustainable solution to tackling the issues of food waste and food inequality.
This vision was also informed by the pandemic prompting people to think more about how they shop and alternatives to existing ways of sourcing food. This includes community-led models which empower local communities to change their local food systems - making them fairer and more resilient.
Based on our rapidly developing knowledge, we identified a need for an affordable, weekly social grocery store in the Hollingdean area of the city and BrightStore was launched on October 24th at the Hollingdean Community Centre. We opened our second store at the Vallance Community Centre in Hove in January 2021.
We are a membership scheme where people experiencing food insecurity can get a weekly shop of mostly locally-sourced, quality food for a fraction of what it would normally cost and in a welcoming, social setting.
Our members work together to run the store, connect with each other and help tackle wider issues around food in their local community.
Everything at BrightStore comes from high quality surplus or donated food. The majority of it comes from Fareshare UK and The Brighton Food Factory, who supply fresh produce from local growers and farmers. Some of it is donated by local independent food businesses.
BrightStore now has over 350 members, providing food for over 1000 people each week in Hollingdean, Hove, Mile Oak and Pankhurst.
BrightStore is currently funded by small grants from the National Lottery and the government’s COVID Winter Fund but is actively working towards becoming a long-term, self-sustaining business.
We are supported and mentored by the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership.