Feeding Britain has, in partnership with like-minded organisations, supported the development of 150 affordable food clubs – encompassing pantries, larders, and social supermarkets – across our network. In the three months since our last impact report we have worked with partners to open 20 new clubs. These 150 settings are making food and other essentials more affordable and accessible to their 20,104 member households, thereby helping them stretch their budgets further while preventing at least some of the need for food banks.
Staff and volunteers cautiously estimate that, between them, those households are collectively saving hundreds of thousands of pounds each month by visiting affordable food clubs. Management data collated by staff and volunteers suggest that, on average, households spend an estimated £5.61 each time they visit and take home food and other items worth approximately £22.50. Based on membership records, staff and volunteers estimate that one third of member households have at least one person who is in work. This indicates the challenges that many working households are now facing in meeting the rising costs of living.
Pantry case study – Derbyshire: Since the launch of the pantry, the local emergency food bank has gone from doing two full vans per week of deliveries, to delivering only four emergency parcels last week. This is because they have been able to signpost people who can afford it to use the pantry instead.
Pantry case study – St Matthew’s Pantry, St Helens: A single mum came to the pantry. She had got a new job so was without any money until the end of the month. She hadn’t eaten herself for three days because she was trying to provide food for her four sons. They had now run out of food and the boys had gone to school without any breakfast that day. She had been walking for an hour and a half to get to work, and then walking home again at the end of the day. The pantry was able to provide her with food, and spoke to her housing association who gave her a bus pass to get to work.
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Photos: Header photo shows fruit and vegetable display at Good Food Barnsley’s new Storehouse and Field Food Hub. Central photo shows the new Breckland Mobile Community Store.