Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea Local Pantry (HBoS) celebrated its second anniversary on 14 January.
HBoS is a partnership between Burnham Baptist Church and Morland Community Hub. It is part of the Somerset Local Pantry Network (SLPN), who buy and collect surplus food and make it available to members for a low weekly fee. Each Local Pantry helps reduce food waste and makes food affordable for local families which saves them money.
HBoS has achieved a lot in the last two years, including moving to a new home at Trowbridge Close Community Hub, working with Yeo Valley and Morrisons who kindly provide regular food donations, and significantly increasing their membership.
When HBoS started in 2021, they had just 27 Members, now they support 70 households. In the past year, they have received and shared over 8,000kg of food from food charity, FareShare alone, which is roughly the equivalent of 28 brown bears and equates to more than 20,000 meals.
Sue Williams, a member of Burnham Baptist Church and HBoS Team Leader since the start, said:
It has been a wonderful two years, working with such great volunteers and getting to know our members, who we know appreciate the food we receive from our food partners.
SLPN is a partnership between Somerset Council, local community groups and food charity, FareShare South West.
Somerset Council provides initial grant money and support to help the launch of a new pantry, but each pantry is independently run by voluntary sector groups.
Food charity, Action Against Hunger, made a film about the Somerset pantries, highlighting the positive impact they make in communities. Watch it here: www.youtube.com/somersetlocalpantrynetwork.
Full details of SLPN can be found here: www.somerset.gov.uk/localpantry.