New Guelph grocery service helps subsidize meals for individuals who cannot afford it

A new pay-what-you-can grocery service is looking to ensure everyone in Guelph gets the food they need.

The new program from The SEED, a not-for-profit project at the Guelph Community Health Centre, lets residents shop for groceries online, and have the food delivered to their door. However, customers can pay on a sliding scale, based on what they can afford, with those paying the full retail price subsidizing low-income households who cannot pay that price.

“At The SEED, we believe it takes a community to feed a community,” says Gavin Dandy, The SEED’s general manager, in a news release.

“That’s how groceries from The SEED works. Community members who are financially able sign up for a regular retail-price membership, and their grocery dollars help to fund discount memberships of 25, 50 or 75 per cent for people who otherwise can’t afford to buy nutritious food.”

The release adds that for every two people who pay full price, up to three others can access food at lower prices.

The launch follows a pilot project that launched in November, which saw more than 500 people sign up for a membership, with 200 full-paying shoppers and 300 receiving discounted food.

With the full launch, The SEED is looking to offer discounted groceries to 750 households, which means at least 500 need to sign up to be full paying members.

“Even during the pilot, participation exceeded our expectations and illustrates our community’s commitment to embracing a concept like this. People are telling us, ‘I’m buying groceries anyway; why wouldn’t I shop at The SEED?’” Dandy adds.

More information is available online at

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