The South Bridgwater Local Pantry (SBLP) celebrates three years of fighting food waste and tackling hunger.
SBLP is part of the Somerset Local Pantry Network (SLPN) who buys and collect surplus food and makes it available to members for a low weekly fee, which helps reduce food waste, feed families and save them money.
Being one of nine pantries dotted across the county, the SBLP opened its doors for the first time in 2020. Three years in, the pantry now has 50 members, up from 30, having helped 200 households. Many of these families have gone on to support themselves or into paid work.
The pantry has recently relocated to its new home at ReCreation, Rhode Lane, as part of its transition to Bridgwater Town Council. The move is designed to enhance the experience for members, providing a larger space and expand on the food available and, over time, accommodate for more members. Additionally, a community café is set to open soon, providing a welcoming space for local residents to enjoy.
SBLP has also moved to a social supermarket model, where members can choose their own items from the selection on display, rather than receiving a pre-selected mix of foods.
A member from the SBLP said; “I think the new set up is very positive. I found it to be a relaxed environment and it was nice to be able to have a chat with people. Well done to everyone who has obviously worked so hard to put this together. Thank you so much!”
SLPN is a partnership between Somerset Council, local community groups and food charity, FareShare South West.
Somerset Council provides initial grant money to fund the launch of a new pantry, but each pantry is independently run by voluntary sector groups.
Earlier this year, Action Against Hunger, another food charity, made a film about the Somerset pantries, highlighting the positive impact they make in communities. opens in a new windowWatch it on YouTube.
Full details of SLPN can be found on the opens in a new windowSomerset Council website.