Imagine being able to reduce your shopping bills by 87%.
Imagine a basket of essentials costing you £3.50 rather than £26.41.
And imagine being able to make that saving every week.
Those savings are a reality for people who join community run food pantries, like the one that has just opened at The Lighthouse Project in Middleton, north Manchester.
The Lighthouse Pantry’s weekly fee is £3.50 and a weekly visit for members is currently worth £26.41 on average, meaning a saving of £22.91 a week, or almost £1,200 over a year. The Pantry has 70 members so far, and Lighthouse Project’s development manager, Carl Roach, hopes that could rise to 150.
“We could see that even after helping people pass through times of food crisis it was still difficult for them to fully make ends meet on limited income. When we came across the Pantry idea we immediately saw that this could be a useful stepping-stone, helping people reduce their food costs, feed their families and keep more money is the household to pay other bills.”
The Lighthouse Project is a charity that provides a wide range of important services and groups in the community. The Pantry was opened by the charity’s patron, TV and film actor Steve Coogan.
Mr Coogan said:
“The genius of The Lighthouse Project is that everyone understands that most people’s problems don’t exist in isolation, they are often interconnected. A problem with money can affect a relationship or an emotional issue, or the other way round. The difficulties people encounter can have knock on effects. Lighthouse tries to deal with these things together, holistically and individually.
Most importantly of all, the coming together all those who support The Lighthouse Project means it is more than the sum of its parts. It inspires other initiatives. It’s my hope that, through The Lighthouse, the people of Middleton will be an example to other communities up and down the country to show that when people come together to help each other as a community, everybody benefits.”
Church Action on Poverty and Stockport Homes are supporting the nationwide roll-out of Pantries, under the banner of Your Local Pantry, so if you’d like to set one up or would like to find out more, please email project officer Laura Jones on email@example.com