A new venture intended to be an alternative to food banks is launching in Johnson Fold on Tuesday (October 20).
The Storehouse Pantry, located in The Hope Centre on Tattersall Avenue, is a not for profit venture which will provide everyday goods to local communities for a £2.50 weekly membership fee, which will contribute to the running of the project.
The aim of the pantry is to offer more choice of goods and widen membership to include people who aren’t eligible for food bank vouchers, but are in need of food assistance.
It will also be running advice sessions on subjects including healthy eating, cooking, growing food and financial issues.
The project has been developed through a partnership between Bolton at Home, Urban Outreach and St Peter’s Parish in Halliwell.
Anne Burns, Neighbourhood Manager at Bolton at Home, said: “Although food banks are a valuable source of support for many people, the Storehouse Pantry is intended to be a positive progression which allows us to reach more people. There are many reasons for emergency food use and this isn’t limited to people who are unemployed.
“The pantry is also offering wider choice with a range of fresh food and household goods available, as well as support for those facing financial exclusion, debt and poverty.”
Initially, the Storehouse Pantry will be staffed by Bolton at Home employees and volunteers from St Peters. The Bolton at Home employees are participating through the organisation’s Give and Gain scheme, which allows staff members to give up five full working days a year to help the voluntary sector. Eventually, it is hoped that local community volunteers will take over, developing local opportunities for work experience.
The Food comes from Urban Outreach donations, The Fare share (surplus food) project, and the membership fee will support local food growing schemes which will supply the pantry and allow the pantry to buy in bulk and pass on savings to it`s members.
The Storehouse Pantry opens it`s doors for the first time on October 20 between 1pm and 3pm, when it will be officially opened by the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Carole Swarbrick, and will be blessed by the Bishop of Bolton. Members of the community can Visit StorehousePantry during the event to enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake while finding out what the project is all about.
Pre-opening membership requests are being taken at the event with a free gift for the first 75 members. Limited memberships are available, and membership is only open to Johnson Fold residents, so don’t miss out.
(1 membershp per household)
Although currently a pilot scheme, if the project is a success it will be rolled out in more neighbourhoods across Bolton.