A SENIOR politician has praised a Southampton store proving ‘so important’ during the cost of living crisis.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer MP Rachel Reeves visited the company’s store in Hawkeswood Road, near Bitterne Road West, earlier today.
She toured the store, which sells products from major retailers at a discount.
All items are current and perfectly safe to eat or use, but are considered “surplus” and may otherwise have been wasted due to improper labeling and seasonal packaging, among many other reasons.
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“It’s really great to be in Southampton today and visit the Company Shop which is a really innovative business, which is a membership organization and if you are a key worker, or on certain means-tested benefits, you can join and get access to their line of products at a deep discount,” Ms Reeves told the Echo.
“And they get products from all the major supermarkets, retailers and wholesalers and sell them at a reduced rate to their members, which during the cost of living crisis is so important and a real benefit to their members, because a lot of people right now have to make really tough decisions, and a lot of people are struggling and everyone is noticing higher gas and electric bills, higher cost of the weekly store, higher prices for l gasoline at the pump.
Company Shop opened last summer and is open to almost all key workers, including those working in the NHS, social services, emergency services, FMCG supply chain, UK armed forces and the prison services.
“By helping people with lower food prices, it means people have that money for those essential bills too,” continued Ms Reeves, who is also the MP for Leeds West.
“The other thing about what I saw today is the amount of food that would otherwise end up in the landfill, and it’s not in the landfill because it will end up on people’s plates.
“It’s really fantastic also because we know we need to do a lot more to protect the factory, to get to net zero, and also to keep our planet clean and green – they’re helping that too.”
Asked how important Southampton was to the UK economy, Ms Reeves added: ‘Southampton is really important and we want it to play its full part and the economy cannot be fueled by just London and some major cities.
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“We need all parts of the UK, including coastal communities, to play their full part.
“Southampton has so much going for it, and it’s also a key battleground for this year’s local elections.”
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