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About the Local Pantries


The Somerset Local Pantry network is an initiative that started in Bridgwater.  It started as a partnership between Somerset Council, local community groups and food charities FareShare South West and Action Against Hunger.  It is an informal network of independent Local Pantries who work together to support their shared goals, now working directly with FareShare South West.

The local Pantry logo, Action Against Hunger logo, FareShare South West logo

A Local Pantry is a community-run project that buys or collects surplus food to prevent it going to waste, and then makes it available to their members for a weekly fee, charging between £3.50 and £5.

As the food is ‘surplus’, due to a seasonal glut or change in branding for example, the Local Pantry does not know what it will be offered, so members will have a ‘mystery parcel’ each week.

The number of items varies and usually, but not always, includes fresh, chilled and ambient (tinned or dried) foods. A typical week could include fruit and vegetables, eggs, and dairy or non-dairy drinks, pasta, cereals, and tinned foods. There are sometimes ready meals and sweet treats.

The value of the food also varies but always exceeds the membership fee, sometimes considerably.

Why are there Local Pantries?

Over three million tonnes of good food is wasted in the food industry supply chain every year. When food waste goes to landfill it generates CO2 emissions which contribute to climate change. At the same time, millions of people are struggling to afford to eat.

By working in partnership with organisations like surplus food charity FareShare South West, local retailers and allotment groups, the Local Pantries are tackling these three issues.

What to expect

A Local Pantry is a membership scheme. The only criterion for membership is living within 15-minutes of the Local Pantry, ideally by walking or by bike. This is mainly for food safety reasons but it also means members have the opportunity to meet and get to know others from their local area. Members will need a shopping bag and a chiller, which they need to bring each week. Some Local Pantries offer these on week one. Do ask when signing up. If running late or not able to collect, it is important members let the team know, so food is not wasted.

As well as food, the Local Pantries may offer social activities, training opportunities, a café, chance to talk with specialist agencies such as Citizen’s Advice. Each Local Pantry will develop its offer in response to the interests of its members and what it is able to run or host.

As places are limited Local Pantries may have a waiting list and will get in touch when a space becomes available.  Members can leave at any time and normally join for three-six months – sometimes more and sometimes less.

Allergies and special diets can often be supported so members should advise of these as well as checking the food items themselves.

By joining a Local Pantry you’re saving perfectly good food from going to waste, which is good for the planet and you’re saving money too.

Below you will find information and contact details for each Local Pantry in Somerset. If you would like to become a member, make food or financial donations or volunteer at any of the existing Local Pantries please get in touch directly.

If interested in having a Local Pantry or you can support more than one Local Pantry, please contact the project manager using the details below. Support to set up and run a Local Pantry is currently available.

Contact information


Mobile: 07557 481418

Local Pantry Details

East Bridgwater (Sydenham) Pantry
Operates – Wednesday afternoon
Sydenham Community Hub. TA6 4HX

South Bridgwater (Hamp) Local Pantry
Operates – Wednesday afternoon
Recreation Community Centre, TA6 6HZ
Phone: 01278 427692

Victoria Park Local Pantry (Bridgwater)
Operates – Tuesday afternoon
Victoria Park Community Centre, TA6 7AS

Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea (HBoS) Local Pantry
Operates – Friday afternoon
Trowbridge Close Community Centre. TA9 3AZ

Minehead Area Local Pantry
Operates – Tuesday afternoon
Parish Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Alcombe. TA24 6BN
Website: West Somerset Food Cupboard

Rowbarton Local Pantry (Taunton)
Operates – Tuesday afternoon
Rowbarton Methodist Church. TA2 6LA

Best Before Food Store (Wellington)
Operates – Tuesday afternoon
The Well, Christian Centre in Rockwell Green TA21 9BZ

Westfield Local Pantry (Yeovil)
Operates – Friday afternoon.
Westfield Community Centre, BA21 3DY
Website: Westfield Community Centre Pantry

Chard Local Pantry
Operates – Friday afternoon
Chard Community Hub, Boden Centre, TA20 1PH
Phone or text: 07971 373831

Last reviewed: April 29, 2024 by Jenny

Next review due: October 29, 2024

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