St Edward has teamed up with Hart District Council and Yateley Industries to provide a new Community Pantry in Hart.
The pantry cabin, donated by St Edward and located at Yateley Industries, Mill Lane in Yateley, is to help and encourage families that need a little bit of support to manage and budget through tough times by providing food shopping at a reduced price.
It aims to help as many residents as possible on a weekly basis and shoppers will find a range of fresh, frozen and general foods. There is no referral necessary, and anyone can sign up for membership. Shoppers will pay £5 membership for each visit and will be able to choose a minimum of £15 worth of food.
During the formal opening on Wednesday 10 March, Cllr Stuart Bailey Cabinet Member for Community Services at Hart District Council, said: "It was great to attend the opening today and see the pantry in full swing. I'm grateful to St Edward for donating the building and my continued thanks to Yateley Industries for providing the staff to manage this important service going forward."
He added: "During the pandemic we know that some families are struggling to provide essentials, such as food for their children. This initiative makes sure that we can support families and individuals through this difficult time."
The Community Pantry is intended to complement and not duplicate Foodbank provision. Foodbanks provide emergency food provision for people in crisis, whereas community pantries can provide a step on for people who are getting back on their feet.
Sam Peplow, CEO of Yateley Industries, said: "When we were approached by Hart District Council we were really pleased to take on this amazing project that will make a real difference to the community. Thank you to both Hart District Council and St Edward for enabling us to get the pantry open in such a short period of time. I would also like to thank Hampshire County Council and Romsey Community School for providing funding and support to set the project up.
The generosity of organisations and individuals has already been astounding and with the ongoing support I am confident we can make this project a huge success. We also have some exciting plans for the future to develop the project and offer even more support to local families which will enable Yateley Industries to become more engaged with the local community."
Paul Vallone, Executive Chairman at St Edward said: "We are very proud to be part of this brilliant initiative and to be a part of the Hart community. This year has been a challenging one for so many and we're pleased to offer our support. The pantry is a wonderful additional resource for families and local people in the Hart area and we're so glad to be involved in its delivery."
Future plans include linking with community support organisations so the pantry staff will be able to signpost individuals for other support depending on their needs. Yateley Industries will work with Hart District Council and Hart Voluntary Action to coordinate this support.