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pantry 246Local Pantry social franchise launched 

Local Pantry is a network of community food stores run by volunteers for the benefit of their local communities. The first Local Pantry was set up in 2013 by Stockport Homes, a social landlord, to help local residents save money on their food bills. The Pantries also provide volunteering and training opportunities and they see volunteers going on to get paid employment. They also recycle food from large retailers which would otherwise go to waste.

For just £2.50 per week, members from the local community can do a shop and choose at least 10 grocery items, including free vegetables. Pantries are run for the community, by the community, aimed at helping to stretch budgets further and bring people together.

Several Pantries have now been set up and the organisation behind it is now ready to scale thanks to help from Church Action on Poverty, Fareshare and Shaftesbury Partnership. Local Pantry was launched as a 'social franchise' on Thursday 7 December 2017. Churches and organisations across the UK can now get tools and support to set up a 'Local Pantry' community food store. 

Liam Purcell, Commmunications Manager at Church Action on Poverty told The Baptist Times in a recent interview, "Foodbanks provide a vital service to people in crisis. Pantries are designed to help people avoid falling into that crisis in the first place – and they have other benefits too. Unlike most foodbanks, a Pantry is a co-operative: members can join without having to be referred by others; they pay in to the club; and they can remain members for as long as they like. There’s a dignity in paying, rather than being given to. The food offer is better in terms of quality, variety and freshness – and the transformation in what members are able to eat on a regular basis is huge. You have choice, within constraints. It’s not a normal shop, but it is close to a normal shop."

Anna Jones, Food Sharing Officer at Stockport Homes, said, “Our Pantries have been supporting Stockport communities since 2013, saving thousands for members and helping to reduce social isolation and financial insecurity. We are thrilled that by launching this franchise we are able to share our learning to benefit even more communities across the whole country.”

Dave Nicholson, Business Development Officer at Church Action on Poverty, said, "This social franchise offer applies the principles of commercial franchising to scaling the social impact of Pantries - helping people on low incomes across the country to help themselves out of food poverty." 

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For more information, visit Your Local Pantry

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