The Big Issue has big news. For the first time in the magazine’s 29-year history, you will soon be able to buy a copy with your shopping at the supermarket.
Two weeks ago we announced that we were temporarily stopping our vendors from selling on the streets as the Covid-19 outbreak meant it was no longer safe for them to continue. But we still have a duty to support the hard-working people who sell the magazine every week to make a living. With that in mind, and with many of us locked down at home other than to venture out for essentials – we’re hitting the shops.
From April 2, Sainsbury’s will be the first major supermarket to stock The Big Issue in hundreds of stores across the UK and online. And soon, newsagents McColl’s, Martin’s and RS McColl will carry the magazine too in 1,400 stores nationwide.
We are adapting under lockdown to make sure we can continue supporting the vulnerable people who rely on the magazine to lift themselves out of poverty, despite a total loss of street sales.
Readers old and new can buy the magazine from stores for £3 and 50 per cent of net proceeds will go into a vendor support fund. The other half will make it possible for us to continue our vital work with vendors now and in the future.
Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, said: “We have helped well over 100,000 people over the past 29 years, and on average we put £5m into the pockets of our vendors every single year. Now more than ever, we need your support. Our income comes from street sales and without our vendors on the streets we cannot support those people that really need us now and in the future.