An outreach grocery for the Western Oise

By selling products 70 to 90% cheaper than in traditional shops, the new outreach grocery opened by the Centre Social Rural du Thelle-Bray wants to enable a whole swath of the population to afford everyday consumer products, simply and with dignity. Boosted by an online sales service, this initiative draws its strength from the social counseling that is set up.

Social and Employment

Sérifontaine, France

Francis Cheron

€20,000 to the Selection Committee at 2010/06/22

Project leader

Centre social rural du Thelle-Bray

"This project goes beyond the supply of food to destitute households, because, through the counseling workshops, it also provides for recreating social bonds which generally vanished with the problems of the grocery's beneficiaries. This structure, in my opinion, is unfortunately necessary in our suburban area, where precariousness is synonymous with isolation."

Francis Cheron

If they can drastically cut the food budget, some disadvantaged families can redirect their expenditures (housing, debt repayment, repair of tools necessary for professional activity, etc.). For others, it means a new life, starting with the rediscovery of complete and balanced meals. In both cases, it represents a major change in daily living.
And this is precisely the goal of the Centre Social Rural du Thelle-Bray, in the Oise district, in opening an outreach grocery at Sérifontaine. This self-service facility won't be just a store. It will offer the beneficiaries a genuine contract, for a fixed term but personalized and renewable according to the situation of the household. This mutual commitment will include participation in at least one of the various workshops proposed (cooking, home economics, parent-child relations, etc.).

The approach could concern 6000 persons in the Western Oise, selected on transparent criteria in terms of resources but taking account of urgent cases.
It privileges forging a partnership with the beneficiaries. It also lays the ground for social bonds and self esteem. Because the applicant families will not only receive food aid but also counseling and lasting social supervision.

An online boutique to reach a wider public

This outreach grocery will be even more effective by reaching out to distant or isolated persons. These customers will be able to place orders online and seek other services (recipes, workshop programs, distribution schedules, etc.). The success of this second aspect of the project demands setting up optimized online access in the surrounding communes, a network of persons capable of assisting the families, and places dedicated to receptions, functions and deliveries.

The grant from the Veolia Foundation will help finance the painting and furnishing of the Sérifontaine facility. The inauguration of the grocery, scheduled for September 2010, will also mean the creation of two new jobs at the Thelle-Bray Rural Social Center.