21/04/2021

The Salisbury Pantry has arrived

The Salisbury Pantry - which helps people struggling to buy food - has a new home in the city centre.

Organised by Salisbury City Council’s Communities Team, The Salisbury Pantry was originally operating out of the Friary Community Centre and Bemerton Heath Centre, with the support of Anybody Can Cook. It has now moved to its permanent new home in Catherine Street (the old lighting workshop) and has been open to new and existing members from 20th April 2021.

The Communities Team are now running the shop as part of a franchise operation run by Church Action on Poverty called ‘My Local Pantry’ who help people set up food shop based-schemes in their area.

Local Pantry’s go beyond the food bank model, creating a sustainable and long-term solution to food poverty and work as a membership scheme. Once signed up, members pay £5 per shop and select food and sundries worth up to £35. Food is sourced from Fareshare, UK Harvest and from donations from local supermarkets Tesco, Tesco Metro and Waitrose. The Council have so far distributed 34 tonnes of food.

Membership is open to any residents of Salisbury who are in receipt of benefits, on a low wage or struggling to buy food or pay bills towards the end of the month.

Pantries are not just about providing food, they are also places where people can ask for advice and be signposted to other sources of support. The aim is to build the Salisbury Pantry as a community resource and a space where people can build their networks, confidence and sense of belonging in the community, with members also volunteering at the shop.

Wiltshire Community Foundation provided a grant to support the early version of this project and the Council are grateful to have been granted an additional £20,000 from the foundation to help fit out the shop and continue serving our community in this way as one of the local solutions to food poverty.

Pantry Members say:
“This is only my 5th week as a member and I have been able to pay my council tax in full already. You sometimes have to choose which bills you pay and this means there are less hard choices”

“We are on some hard times, I got referred by a friend. I just feel so grateful”

“It looks so good. I didn’t realise it would be a proper shop. It feels good that you have made it like this, for us.”

“It looks amazing, it has been amazing. It’s been a tough year but I would love to volunteer here now. It would be a really good focus for me”

The Salisbury Pantry is a community project in many senses and many parts of our local community have helped to make it possible. The following people and organisations have provided funding or time, resources and services for free or at a hugely reduced cost.

Our sincerest thanks to …
• Catherine Maxwell & Anybody Can Cook
• Wiltshire Community Foundation
• Salisbury Area Board
• D & N Maintenance
• Tesco Extra Community Champion – Gilbert Scammell
• Tesco Metro
• Salisbury Food bank
• UK Harvest

For any inquiries about membership or volunteering email salisburypantry@salisburycitycouncil.gov.uk

The Salisbury Pantry is open Tuesdays only from the 20th April 2021 – 10am – 3pm.

Shopping is for members only but Salisbury residents in need of this support are able to sign up in store.

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