Shop closed, but local regular customers can pre-order

Fareshares volunteers met again online yesterday to talk about how we might continue to be of service to our community while reducing the risk of virus transmission.

We reviewed our experiment last Friday when we ran a shift during which only one customer was allowed into the shop at a time, to be served by volunteers rather than helping themselves. It was good to be able to provide people with access to food, but volunteers said that it was quite a slow process and that they felt that there was still too much transmission risk.

So we decided that for the time being the shop will be closed to customers.

However, we did decide to trial pre-ordering for regular Fareshares customers who live locally to the shop (i.e close enough to pass by as part of your permitted daily exercise or shopping trip for basic necessities).

As a regular Fareshares customer you will be familiar with the products we sell. To make an order, please write a list of the items you would like to buy and drop it through the shop letterbox. Your order should generally be limited to two items of each type or 500g of each type of bulk goods such as grains/pulses. Please include your name and a phone number.

Our volunteers will do their best to put your order together, with regard to the current limitations of supply. They will then call you to arrange a pickup time at which you should please bring cash for payment.

We hope that this system will work out and be a useful service for people at this very difficult time. Thank you for your patience and support.

Try and steer clear of this infection

Update Thursday 19th March 2020

Fareshares volunteers have had a meeting online this afternoon, and we have decided that our only opening hours this week will be today, Thursday 19th March 2020, from 4pm to 8pm.

To reduce the risk of disease transmission, only one customer will be allowed in the shop at a time, and there will be self-service will be suspended.

One volunteer will gather the items you need, and the other volunteer will take the cash and give your change. Volunteers will be using disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.

To reduce waiting time for other customers, please try to arrive with a list of what you need.

We will only be selling pre-packaged items and fruit and vegetables. There will be no sales of bulk items unfortunately.

Because of the increased demand and restrictions on supply, we will have a general limit of one item of each type per customer, or moderate amount of fresh produce, at our volunteers’ discretion.

The shop will not be open on Friday 20th or Saturday 21st. We will use this time to prepare to continue to provide our service next week in as safe a way as possible.

Next week we hope to resume sales of bulk items (grains, beans, seeds etc) weighed and pre-bagged by volunteers in as hygienic a manner as possible.

Thank you for your co-operation and for your support of Fareshares and its volunteers. And please do check our website for further developments and certainly before you travel to the shop.

debating our response to covid-19

The volunteers who work together to bring you Fareshares are currently discussing what we should do in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

On the one hand Fareshares provides good food and other essentials at affordable prices, and people depend on that. It’s not a luxury.

On the other hand there are many practical considerations and concerns which could make closing the shop the more responsible choice for us all.

Some of our volunteers have already said that reluctantly they have will have to stop working shifts for a variety of very good reasons.

Others, though, are keen to try to continue providing the service in one way or another, in the short term at least.

So to avoid a wasted journey please check back here for the latest position before you travel to Fareshares.