Whitby's Pantry is due to open in June 2019 at The Intact Centre in Ingol, Preston. Intact have been running for 25 years as a community hub and deliver a range of services to people who need them.
Why we set up Whitby's Pantry
At Intact we already operate a Crisis Support Scheme which provides food to people living in food poverty. We started to operate a ‘Community Supermarket’ with the surplus food which was bagged by volunteers and offered to locals for £3 per bag.
Based on the success of this, Intact decided to set up a ‘Your Local Pantry’, a community-led shop where members pay £3.50 a week to receive 10 items (at least £15 worth of shopping) which includes fresh fruit and veg, ambient, chilled and frozen products and toiletries. Our Whitby's Pantry will run alongside existing activities as we combine our food services offering better provision that is more inclusive of the use of volunteers.
We liked that the Your Local Pantry model is tried and tested with some being successfully run for many years and wanted Whitby’s Pantry to be delivered in a similar structured way. This provides an improved quality service giving local people a typical local shop experience, where they can come and select their own food for a weekly membership fee. Pantries offer members choice and an opportunity to contribute financially, removing any stigma associated with other initiatives helping relieve food poverty.
Your Local Pantry is designed to be run by volunteers, offering people opportunities to gain valuable work experience, build confidence and forge relationships with others in the community, and we believed a Whitby's Pantry would be the perfect fit for Intact. Building on our Investors in Volunteers status we can offer more good quality volunteering opportunities in the form of Pantry Assistants, Stock Assistants and Cash Desk Assistants.
Support we received
Intact was fortunate to be able to get some financial support from Preston City Council in the form of a £3,500 donation, which helped us to purchase a commercial fridge and freezer and do some construction work in the café to build the Pantry area and to purchase the Your Local Pantry Franchise. As we were already operating Whitbys Café, and the Community Supermarket, Intact already had a head start with some of the resources and Fare Share food already being in place.