Iceland Food Club: The scheme aiming to relieve food poverty

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The Icelandic frozen food giant has been working to help their customers in any way they can to combat the cost of living crisis as food prices soar. We recently wrote about supply chain 40,000 pensioners nationwide £30 coupon to spend on necessities in their store.

Now, Iceland is partnering with its own lending charity Fair for You to assist customers with soaring food costs. Iceland Food Club is a new, affordable and flexible nationwide credit solution for everyday necessities.

Iceland says the Food Club is the result of the supermarket’s dedication to its customers. They want to ensure that they can adjust the disproportionate cost of living and avoid food poverty. They are also determined to help their clients perfect their earnings. This scheme launches today across the UK.

The Icelandic Food Club initiative is the brainchild of Colleague Iceland. Many people want to support children at risk of hunger because of poverty, a new reality many have to face. During the pilot phase of this new scheme, 5,000 customers have been offered microloans ranging from £25 to £100 to spend on their food essentials in stores in Iceland.

With research from Iceland showing around 8.4 million people in the UK are hungry, the plan comes at a time more needed than ever. Similarly, 9 million families receiving benefits will be £500 in real terms from last year due to rising inflation, the highest rate of inflation the UK has seen in more than 40 years.

As a result of this pilot program, the Responsible Credit Center conducted an independent review. Their findings show that a whopping 92% of customers have stopped or reduced their foodbank usage. 71% said they could afford more for food and other necessities. The same percentage said as a result of this they were less likely to fall behind on rent, council tax and other bills. The number of loan sharks also decreased by 80%.

There are also changes to people’s physical and mental health. Nearly two-thirds of customers (67%) said their diet had also improved. 57% also said they feel less ‘stressed, anxious and depressed’ about their finances.

How do loans work? Iceland Food Club loans are made on a pre-loaded card. The payout is set at £10 per week. Customers can choose which day of the week they want to repay. This gives customers more flexibility and ease in choosing the date that suits them best.

The loans will also be interest-free, something Iceland says it has fully invested in. The pilot program shows a small amount of interest being paid on loans. This was repealed for a nationwide rollout.

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