Pantries and food clubs are community-driven solutions to tackle food insecurity. These initiatives offer more than just food, as they provide support and advice to members. By becoming a member, individuals can access affordable and nutritious food, as well as other benefits.
Pantries and food clubs are especially helpful for individuals on low incomes. They provide significant support to those experiencing financial difficulties. These initiatives have been developed with the goal of providing food security and reducing food waste. In addition to reducing food insecurity, they also promote a sense of community and encourage social interaction.
In 2013-14, FareShare Greater Manchester spoke with Stockport Homes. Stockport Homes sought to develop food pantry projects in areas of Stockport experiencing high levels of poverty. Moreover, FareShare GM decided to pioneer a new approach to supplying community food projects, adapting working methods to ensure pantry members could have access to a wider variety of foods than available in traditional long-life food parcels.
Importantly, members benefit from a choice of foods on a weekly basis, alongside:
- added-value information;
- advice and support, and;
- the chance to get involved.
The popularity of pantries and food clubs is on the rise across the region and nationally, as more and more individuals recognise the benefits of becoming a member. These initiatives have been proven to have a positive impact, as explored in this interesting assessment from Church Action on Poverty.