A new store opened its doors on Monday, and with a keen interest from the public. Maggy’s Affordable Food aims to address one of the UK’s big food problems.
The concept is to save food from being wasted.
The store’s co-owner, Sangita, explains the process:
“What we do is we get short-dated or out of date – but its before date – food at really low cost and so we pass on the savings to our customers.
“Crawley has a population of 150,000 and a 23% child poverty rate, so really we just want to be able to save, on average, about £70 a month per family on food. That’s between £700 to £800 a year.”
The name of the store – located off Kelvin Way, Crawley – was created by merging two of the owner’s names together: The ‘Ma’ from Maggie, and the ‘ggy’ comes from Sangita’s nickname, Ziggy.
Although Maggy’s operates as a commercial entity, Sangita says this is on a ‘very minimal level’.
“Our attempt is to reinvest most of the bottom line back into the business so it won’t really be a bottom line.”
“We also do ‘Feed Crawley’. So what we also want to try and do is support that with some of the profits that we make – which is again, for the community.”
Most of the products in the store cost around 50p, however some may be marked differently.
The most expensive item currently available in the store costs just £3, that’s for a box of Thornton’s chocolates. However 90% of the items cost 50p.
Maggy’s is completely open to anybody and began because the team wanted to do their bit to change the 18 billion tonnes of food thrown away in the UK every year.
Sangita offers some advice to those who might not be sure how long they can keep an item after its best before date:
“Providing it’s stored in the right conditions – as it says in the instructions – best before dates can last for quite a while. I would say six months, a year, even three – it doesn’t matter.
“Dry products should be kept in a dry place, use common sense as well.”
It’s not just food you’ll find inside Maggy’s, there’s also a wedding section. The idea behind this is in keeping with the whole store’s theme:
“It’s just a small, quirky thing. I’d like to make that section bigger. Weddings are so ridiculously expensive. And again, we’re trying to make things more affordable” says Sangita.
Maggy’s only opened its doors on Monday, but it’s proved so popular that the team have their eyes set on expanding the premises already.
Maggy’s Affordable Food is located at: Unit 10, Stanley Business Centre, Kelvin Way RH10 9SE
Monday and Tuesday: 8am-6pm
Thursday to Saturday: 8am-6pm
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Crawley gets housing boost as council get £6.4m grant
Two major housing projects have been given a boost after Crawley Borough Council received final confirmation that it has been successful in applying for a government grant worth more than £6m.
The £6.4m grant from Homes England’s Housing Infrastructure Fund will help unlock another 620 new homes in the town.
Telford Place in the town centre will receive £2m to bring forward development while £4.4m will go towards infrastructure that enables new homes to be built in Forge Wood, Crawley’s newest neighbourhood.
As part of the council’s housing development plans, key town centre site Telford Place will receive funding to provide an alternative access to the site, which had only supported up to 100 units. This additional access will enable more than 200 extra homes to be built.
The council announced in August that Clarion Housing Group had been selected as its preferred development partner to deliver 313 new homes. These will be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments on the 1.85 acre site, which is currently used as a temporary car park.
Around half of the homes will be available for private sale, with the remainder consisting of shared ownership homes and 87 council homes charged at affordable rents.
Clarion held consultation events in October and November in the town centre, giving residents more information about the proposed development and answering their questions.
A planning application is expected to be submitted by the end of the year, with a view to starting on site early in 2019.
The £4,423,280 funding will be spent on an acoustic barrier and commercial building at Forge Wood, which will allow the development of 420 residential units, including 183 affordable units. These will be a part of the 1,900 residential units which make up the neighbourhood. Of these, 760 will be affordable units.
Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, said:
“We are determined to provide as many new homes as we possibly can; this confirmation of funding is a major step towards 733 units being built. This will make it easier for us in our efforts to significantly reduce the numbers of households on our waiting list here in the borough.
“Our ambition is to deliver more than 1,000 new council homes for people in Crawley over the next few years and this funding is helping us towards that.”