Jan 3, 2024 | Blog

What is solidarity? How can it be incorporated into a plan of action or business plan?

Solidarity is a sense of unity or agreement, especially among people with a common interest, including mutual support within a group. Many people want to be a “good neighbour” within their local society.

When someone brings food or essentials to a new parent, cooks meals for a neighbour who is recently bereaved or home from hospital or gives food to a foodbank, these are acts of solidarity. They strengthen bonds, recognise the shared humanity and establish connections of experience and need, practical and emotional.

At a societal level, a strong sense of solidarity leads to a stronger safety net or welfare provision.

How can a business or organisation make acts of solidarity easier? Some businesses offer solidarity shares or contributions. For example, a café may offer “pay it forward” plans for coffee or cake, to help those who need it now. A community shop can have a fund to provide essentials to locals who can’t afford them currently. A vegetable box scheme could offer an “add a bag” option or similar – when a customer buys a vegetable box, they could be prompted to consider adding 10% of the value to go to a fund to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to hungry people in the community, or to buy a fruit bag for them. Community Supported Agriculture farms or cooperatives sometimes offer “solidary shares” to enable them to provide good food to people who can’t afford it. Even a bowl for change by the till can help pay for food for people who may run a bit short.

Ideally everyone should have access to enough good food – that includes physical access and the money required to obtain it. That is what the Arun & Chichester Food Partnership is working toward. In the meantime, making it easier for those who are able to help, through solidary offers, can reap benefits for the businesses and local people.