Westfield Local Pantry in Yeovil celebrated their 1st birthday on Sunday 3 March.

Westfield 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.

Over the past 12 months, Westfield has grown from having eight members to now supporting 28 households. They have also launched a mini pantry which can support an additional 10 households on a temporary basis until they are able to get a full membership.

The pantry now has a team of 18 volunteers to assist with the delivery and collection of food every week and have even employed a part time project coordinator who was a former member and volunteer.

Some of pantry volunteers said:

Volunteering at the community pantry brings me a sense of joy. The people we are reaching within our local community each week is amazing.

I love volunteering, it’s got me out of my comfort zone, and I’ve met so many lovely people and made friendships I wouldn’t have made otherwise.

I run my own small business and I felt volunteering would be a great way for me to give back to the community. Volunteering one day a week makes such a difference to a huge number of households.

Westfield members have praised the work of the local pantry:

You’ve created a community within the community pantry.

I don’t know what we would do for fresh food at weekends if it wasn’t for my pantry membership.

We love coming along after the school run to the community pantry. We are always greeted by the lovely volunteers and there’s even sometimes a cake!

SLPN is a partnership between Somerset Council, local community groups, food charity, FareShare South West and a local housing provider, Abri.

Somerset Council provided initial grant money and support to help the launch of Local Pantries, but each pantry is independently run by voluntary sector groups, supporting each other as needed.

Food charity, Action Against Hunger, made a film about the Somerset pantries, highlighting the positive impact they make in communities. Watch it here: The Somerset Local Pantries Network (youtube.com).

Full details of SLPN can be found on The Local Pantry Network in Somerset page.

Group of people standing together each holding a hessian bag with the local pantry logo on them.

About this article

March 11, 2024

Jade Chant


Local pantries

Press Release