In December 2020 Healthy Living Platform (HLP) launched Southwyck Pantry in partnership with Millennium Community Services.
Southwyck Pantry is a membership based model, where members have the opportunity to ‘buy’ up 10 items for £5, and the option to choose a further 10 free items from surplus food donations.
Our aim is to address food insecurity in a way that is more dignified and a sustainable, long term solution when compared to charity food parcels or food banks.
The Pantry is inspired by the Cooperation Town food co-op model. We envisage local people running the Pantry and choosing the food that they buy.
However during Covid it is difficult to bring people together to get organised. To get around this we are running the Pantry as a mini-shop.
Shop opening hours are 10am—4pm every Friday at Southwyck House Community Hall, Moorland Road, SW9 8UR
Some of the members are volunteering to help, and this will be the start of a group of people who will run the project similar to a co-op.
The residents are already choosing what food we buy – favourites are okra, yams, plantain and sweet potatoes.
One pantry member said it “Helps with the day to day of having not to worry about a decent daily meal”
Another commented that “I can now afford to eat fresh food (and)
I can better pay my bills”
Pantry co-ordinator Penny says “It’s been wonderful to see the members enthusiasm for the Pantry and hear about how the pantry has benefitted them. I have had individuals tell me that they have started cooking for themselves again now that they have access to fresh foods. I think this one of the many things that makes the pantry so valuable”
The project is funded by the Lottery Community Fund. We have used the funding to reach out to residents on Southwyck and Moorlands estate.
We already cook hot meals and provide food parcels for low income and isolating residents, but with the Pantry we have been able to reach out to many more people, including people who are perhaps too “proud” to ask for a food parcel.
We are currently working with over 50 households on the two estates.
Our next Pantry will be at Liz Atkinson Children’s Centre. If you are interested in hearing more about the project or would like to start your own Pantry of food co-op we have led a couple of zoom workshops to share the Cooperation Town food co-op principles and our learning.
We also invite you to volunteer at one of our sessions. Please get in touch with our volunteer team or find us on Facebook @Southwyck.Pantry
Pantry Co-ordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer Co-ordinator – email@example.com
This project has been supported by: