Published: 00:01, 16 June 2016
A new project in Dover aims to fight poverty and stop food waste by providing a variety of items at very low prices.
Nathaniel Richards, 25, has set up a not-for-profit company called Niftie’s which takes damaged items or food near its sell-by date from wholesalers and sells it on for no more than 70p.
Mr Richards has now been given a £500 grant from UnLtd, which invests in social entrepreneurs, to set up a shop on a week’s trial in the Charlton Centre in Dover.
Scroll down for audio
This will open on Monday from 9am until 4.30pm, and will be run by Mr Richards and his wife Bethanie, also 25.
He said: “I wanted to do it because I’ve had enough of sitting by, moaning about it. I wanted to get up and do it.
“About 40% of items sold or manufactured in the UK are thrown in the bin, and with half of that there is nothing wrong with it.”
He said that after being put on a zero-hour contract with a security firm he started to struggle to pay the bills and put food on the table, and relied on foodbanks.
Mr Richards, who lives in Tower Hamlets with his family, said: “It was awful. I want to try to do something so people don’t have to get to that point.”
He set up the Niftie’s Facebook page and with just £5 he started the online shop, offering goods with delivery to Dover for £1 and within 20 miles for £2.50.
He has even been in talks with Iain Duncan Smith, the former Work and Pensions Secretary, about how the politician can help the project.
Mr Richards, who has three children, Zack, six, Freddie, three, and Florence, seven months, works nights at a call centre in Sittingbourne and also sidelines as a football scout.
He hopes the shop will be a success. If the trial is successful, he could get a £5,000 grant from UnLtd in the hope of making it a permanent feature of the Charlton Centre.
He said: “We are the cheapest in Dover, if not Kent.”
For more information, search for Niftie’s on Facebook.