Your Local Pantry is a membership food shop, focused on a particular neighbourhood. Pantries enhance communities and are a preventative approach to food poverty, reducing the risk of household hunger.
A Pantry is:
- Member-run: The shops 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 & 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 any other shop, in that you choose the food you want from the shelves.
The shops 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 Foundations Stockport 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 the 2021 social impact report.