A social supermarket has opened in London selling surplus food and drink for 70% less than high street prices to those living in poverty.

The Community Shop supermarket, located in West Norwood, south London, opens today and is backed by Boris Johnson and London Food Board chair Rosie Boycott.

It describes itself as the ‘UK’s first full-scale social supermarket’ and a further 20 supermarkets are planned across the country following a trial of the concept in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire.

The supermarkets operate on a membership model and are open to those who live locally and are on income support.

The supermarkets will stock surplus products from supermarkets including the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Ocado, Innocent, Nestle and Muller.

Members can also enrol on a tailored professional development programme – called The Success Plan – which aims to raise self-confidence and job prospects.

Community Shop is a subsidiary of Company Shop, a redistributor of surplus food and goods.

Company Shop chairman John Marren said: “Community Shop is tackling the problem of surplus food, whilst giving it real social purpose.

“The support we have had from retailers and brands, from Lambeth Council, Rosie Boycott, the London Food Board, the GLA and of course from the Mayor of London, has been fantastic and demonstrates the real need and support for a project like this in London and beyond.”