Cheap and cheerful

he Pantry worker Hassiba selling groceries on Chingford Hall Estate
The Pantry worker Hassiba selling groceries on Chingford Hall Estate

New community food pantry launches in Waltham Forest to help residents save on their weekly shopping bills

A community food project has opened on a housing estate in Chingford to offer cheap food during the ongoing pandemic.

The Pantry has been set up by Peabody Community Foundation at Paradox Community Centre on Chingford Hall Estate and was last month officially declared open by the mayor of Waltham Forest, Chris Robbins.

Pantries are membership-based food clubs that enable people to access food at a small fraction of its usual supermarket price, improving household food security. The weekly fee at the Paradox Centre is £4.50, for which members will be able to choose at least ten items, with a total value of around £15 or more.

The project is the latest in the national Your Local Pantry network, set up in collaboration with charity Church Action on Poverty, and has expanded rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak as communities have sought to secure food supplies and keep one another afloat.

Brendan Sarsfield, chief executive of Peabody, said: “Peabody’s community pantry provides a sustainable food service to residents, which enables them to save money on essential items each week. We aim to create a community where we can also signpost people to vital wrap-around support services provided by Peabody and our partners, for example money management advice, early years programmes, and employment support services.

“This is a very difficult time for many people, and nationally we have seen increased demand for crisis food support. We launched The Pantry now so we can complement the work of local foodbanks and provide a long-term, sustainable food solution.”

The Trussell Trust has reported that around half of the people using foodbanks during the pandemic have never needed to use on before. It also predicts that foodbanks will give out six emergency food parcels in the UK every minute this winter, an increase of 61%.

Niall Cooper, director of Church Action on Poverty, said: “Covid has made the pressures on low-income households even greater, but Your Local Pantry has shown itself to be a vital lifeline that can prevent people from being swept into poverty.”

For more information about The Pantry in Chingford Hall Estate and the work of Peabody Community Foundation in the Waltham Forest:
Call 020 3544 9449
Email ellie.ward@peabody.org.uk

If you are interested in setting up a Your Local Pantry in your community:
Email gillian@church-poverty.org.uk