THE man behind the country's first 'social supermarket' is looking forward to rolling out more stores after its initial success.
John Marren, founder of Company Shop, established Community Shop in Goldthorpe and opened its doors in December.
Providing shoppers on the cusp of poverty with access to surplus foods for knock-down prices, the pilot store has also provided a 'Community Hub' - an in-store area which provides its members with skills training.
Major retailers including Asda, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have all thrown their support behind the project and this week received thousands of 'eco bags' from business Bag It Don't Bin It.
The Goldthorpe store's 500-strong membership all live within the local area and claim one of a specified list of benefits.
John said: "I’m proud to say that I’ve been a Barnsley man all my life. I’ve seen the industries that were such a huge source of jobs here close and life become more difficult for everyone.
"There’s no question that Barnsley has started to turn around since then, but for many people here, it's still tough.
"This model isn't just about cutting food waste and supporting people to get new skills, but also helping those people that just need that little bit of help when they fall on harder times.
"I'm incredibly proud that Community Shop has started its journey in Barnsley and look forward to rolling out more stores."