We have just completed our first week of our new points system in the shop at Alexandreia.We asked a majority of shoppers about the new system and practically all feedback was positive.
Each family has ‘points’ they can spend relative to the size of family (100 for each adult, 75 for each child, 50 for each foetus) and every item has a ‘points’ value relative to their actual cost.
With the autonomy to choose, the shop in Alexandreia quickly became likened to a supermarket amongst residents. It’s not a complete return to normality, but, at the very least, we are providing a variety of options, similar to that of the experience some of us have when shopping for groceries.
After getting the word out about the new points system, groups arrived with the mindset to walk away with the necessary ingredients to cook a meal. Others stuck to canned foods and biscuits. Larger families were able to leave with an appropriate amount of food for their family size, and some shoppers requested new items to keep in stock.
Throughout the week, we recognized the necessity for teenagers to consume more food and will begin to allot more points to minors, age 16 and up. As residents have begun to move out of tents and into IsoBoxes, a family living in the same space can shop on the same day and combine their points during one shopping trip.
Unaccompanied minors requested the help of seasoned shoppers and extended families exercised their ability to buy a variety of foods over different shopping days. We’ve also seen families shopping together so everyone has a say in what to buy.
Refugee Support will continue to monitor the progress of the point system and improve the process for all residents.
It’s a great system: dignified, fair, we can provide what people want and life can be a little more normal.