Stockport Homes' 'Your Local Pantry' celebrates 10 years
Wednesday 24th of May 2023
On Tuesday 23rd May Tpas members Stockport Homes, through their charity subsidiary Skylight, celebrated 10 years of their launch of their first local food pantry. Since launching in 2014, Stockport Homes Group and SKylight have successfully developed five ‘Your Local Pantry’ schemes across Stockport, with the initiative now rolled out across the UK.
Pantries go beyond the food bank model, creating a sustainable and long-term solution to food poverty. Members pay a small weekly fee, typically £3.50, for which they can choose at least ten items of food each week, along with additional opportunities of volunteering and training. Members have reported improved financial positions, improved health and well-being and reduced isolation. The 2018 Social Impact Report also found that for every £1 invested that Pantries have generated a £6 return in social value.
The Your Local Pantry project, run jointly by SKylight and Church Action on Poverty (CAP) now has the help and support of the Co-op, with communities invited to set up their own affiliated Pantries, to emulate the success in Stockport and unlock food poverty in their area. The pantry network is just about to hit 100 members with ambitious plans to double that number. Across the UK, 60,000 people are finding friendship, food and freedom through Pantry membership
Naill Cooper, Chief Executive at Church Action on Poverty spoke about why CAP picked this as a community initiative to manage as a social franchise – drawn in particular to the ethos of dignity, sustainability, community spirit and helping with cost of loving costs.
“Everybody should have access to good food. Everybody values community. Your Local Pantries provide both – and more.. Pantries are all about dignity, choice and hope. Each one operates as a member-led neighbourhood hub, often serving as a springboard to other community initiatives, opportunities and ideas. As we all strive for a brighter future, Pantries are an immediate big step in the right direction, loosening poverty’s grip and creating the breathing space for communities to pursue ambitious goals.” CAP website
The celebration was also a great chance to thank the volunteers and staff that make each pantry such a successful vital service and an opportunity to have a wider community event too with face painting, balloon modelling and petting zoo for the local children after school too.
For more info on Local Pantry visits here; http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/what-we-do/pantry/