Everybody should have access to good food. Everybody values community. Your Local Pantries provide both – and more. Across the UK, 90,000+ people have found friendship, food and freedom through Pantry membership. 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.

A Pantry is:

  • Member-run: Pantries operate along cooperative lines, and many volunteers are members too.
  • Open to all: You don’t need a referral - anyone who lives in an area served by a Pantry can join.
  • Long-lasting: You can join for as long as you want, and can choose to go every week or just occasionally.

Pantries stock an abundant and wide range of top-quality food including fresh fruit and veg, frozen and chilled food, meat and dairy products, and long-life tinned and packaged food.

Members pay a small subscription of a few pounds a week, and in return can choose groceries worth many times more, often saving up to £1,000 a year on shopping bills.

Pantries are just like a shop, in that you choose the food you want from the shelves.

Pantries are run by uniformed staff and volunteers who manage the stores with hand-held technology.

Each Pantry also has a cherished role as a neighbourhood hub, often serving as a springboard to other initiatives and ideas, such as cookery classes, volunteering opportunities, and training.

Pantries have been shown to:

  • Strengthen communities
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Improve household finances
  • Prevent waste
  • Prevent hunger
  • Build dignity and agency

Stockport Homes Group first developed the model in 2013, and the Your Local Pantry social franchise is now run by a partnership between SKylight and Church Action on Poverty. Food is sourced primarily through Fareshare, and each Pantry also has its own local suppliers.

If you are interested in setting up a Pantry in your area then we can help, or you can read more about the positive impact of Pantries in our social impact report.

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