Saving food from landfill and feeding our local community.
During the Covid-19 pandemic a number of families have struggled and some fantastic people have stepped forwards to help their friends and neighbours with buying food, picking up prescriptions and with keeping in touch.
Demand for services such as the Bridgwater Food Bank has grown hugely. Families have found themselves struggling, many for the first time.
I have been really pleased to volunteer at a new project called the “Food Pantry”.
The Local Pantry is a project developed by Sedgemoor District Council’s Communities Team in partnership with local resident volunteers, which aims to stop food going to waste while providing low cost shopping for residents in Sedgemoor.
So far there are two local pantries, both in Bridgwater (Hamp & Sydenham) but they aim to develop more across the district.
The food comes from national food charity Fareshare, who work with large food producers and supermarkets to ensure good, fresh (but essentially surplus) food is not wasted. They take the food directly from their partners before it even reaches supermarkets, sort it all in their warehouse and deliver every week to various communities across the country. Local supermarkets also donate fresh food that is surplus.
This pantry works by providing members (residents who sign up) with weekly food parcels for £3.50. Each parcel contains between 10-14 food items worth between £15 – £25 and contains a mixture of food types from dairy, including milk, butter and cheese, to meat, vegetarian meals, tinned foods, sauces and dry stored foods such as pasta and rice. Members are given a time slot between each week to pay for and pick up their food and have access to bespoke recipe cards and cooking information.
The South Bridgwater pantry covers Stockmoor and Wilstock and is based at 2-3 Grenville House, Rhode Lane and is open on Wednesdays from 1.30-4.30. For more information visit their Facebook page The Local Pantry Sedgemoor.
Written by Bill Revans