Pantry to help fight food poverty in Rockwell Green

Saturday 6th August 2022 4:00 pm
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Pictured: Rockwell Green Local Pantry project manager Paula Appleby outside the village Christian Fellowship Centre. (WWN )

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A LOCAL ‘pantry’ is due to launch in Rockwell Green in late September to distribute surplus food at low cost to Wellington area families in need.

Low-income families who would like to benefit from the project, which is being branded ‘Best Before Food Store’ need to complete a membership application to become registered and eligible for weekly help. A waiting list is being compiled by project manager Paula Appleby ready for the launch date of September 20, by which time she hopes the pantry will be able to support up to 30 members.

The ‘local pantry’ model sees excess food products taken from supermarkets and other outlets and given to volunteer groups to package into food boxes which can then be bought at a nominal price.

In the case of Rockwell Green, the food boxes will be priced at £4 and contain around 10 items.

Mrs Appleby told the Wellington Weekly that the Rockwell Green model was ‘not just a pantry, it is a social place as well’.

She said: “Alongside the opportunity to get food, you can also go into the café and meet people and befrienders.

“The café will run alongside the food store and there will be activities for children and later on we will add crafts and talks.

“It will be a complete experience, it will not be just come in and get some food and disappear.

“We want a broader model to support the community and be there for people, somewhere where we not just help people but build friendships.”

Mrs Appleby said the £4 fee also entitled members to cafe refreshments for free and access to all of the other facilities.

Enough volunteers have now been recruited to get the pantry up and running from the Rockwell Green Fellowship premises, and for anybody else who wanted to offer their services there would be further induction sessions in October.

Mrs Appleby said there would also be an ‘associate member’ category to allow people to access the café and activities side of the pantry for free or for a donation sum of their choosing.

Anybody who would like to go on the membership waiting list or to volunteer their services to help should email Mrs Appleby at [email protected]

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