THE People’s Supermarket in Cowley Road has announced a new “crowdfunding” campaign so it can “give more” to its customers.

The co-operative will launch the campaign on its first anniversary on Sunday via Buzzbnk – an online platform dedicated to helping social enterprises and charities raise funds – and will thank customers for donating by offering them gifts.

Hannah Hoechner, a member of The People’s Supermarket fundraising group, said: “The campaign is to solve our short-term cash constraints, which will help us give more to our customers.

“We’re hoping to raise about £20,000 – we don’t want to have to take another loan out from a bank and pay interest on it.”

The provisional list of gifts for donations includes a hamper filled with locally-sourced produce for a £30 donation.

For a £500 donation, customers will receive an eco-friendly shopping bag, an Oxford hamper, a week’s worth of the supermarket’s special soup of the day, a VIP invitation to a re-launch party and a £550 voucher.

As a co-operative, the supermarket is owned and run by its members who receive a 20 per cent discount at the store.

Board chairman Colm Massey, 43, from Kennington, said: “The purpose of the campaign is to raise money, boost awareness and attract more people to the supermarket.

“Quite a few people support us by buying food from the supermarket but they can’t or do not want to volunteer here, so it’s another way that people can show their support.”

The supermarket has borrowed around £50,000 from banks since it launched in July 2012 and currently has over 600 members.

It plans to use the money raised to begin paying back its start up loans and invest in the community by selling more local produce and offering a free delivery service for those who are unable to access the shop.

Cowley Marsh Labour councillor Saj Malik said: “Shops like The People’s Supermarket are important because they offer customers an alternative to the big supermarkets in the area. They are having to compete with big brands and it really is up to the local people to try to support them.”

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