Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea Local Pantry

A new community service offering low-cost surplus food in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge has launched.

The Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea Local Pantry is a project being run by volunteers at Highbridge’s Morland Community Hub and Burnham Baptist Church, working in partnership with food charity FareShare South West.

The group offers a membership scheme to local residents at a weekly cost of £3.50 which provides a selection of 10-15 food products each week to save perfectly good food from going to waste while also saving families money on food bills.

Helen Phillips, project manager for the Local Pantry, says: “Our service aims to reduce the amount of local surplus food being wasted, it also helps address climate change, and it reduces the amount of waste going to landfill sites.”

She explained that each week the group buys food from FareShare who work with large food producers and supermarkets to ensure that good, fresh – but essentially surplus food – is not wasted.

They take the food directly from their partners before it reaches supermarkets, sort it in their warehouse, and deliver it to communities across the country. They also work with local retailers and food producers to take surplus food and make it available to members.

Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea Local Pantry

Helen adds: “The service provides a selection of food items costing just £3.50 a week for local residents. So, for those whose budget is a tight, or for people who just want to make their money go as far as possible, this is really great. It is available to anyone who lives within a 15-minute catchment area.”

“Each food box varies and contains a mix of fresh, chilled and ambient – tinned or dry – products. The food varies each week, but there are normally 10-15 items and the value of the food also varies but is generally worth between £15-£25 and can be higher.”

“Different dietary requirements can normally be accommodated at any time, but we ask people to please tell us about their dietary needs or allergies. You can cancel any time, with 24 hours’ notice, so that food is not wasted.”

Sue Williams from Burnham Baptist Church adds: “We have always had a yearning to help people who are in need of food help in our area. As Christian volunteers, we recently provided people with meals at Christmas, and this is a next step for us.”

The opening hours of the Local Pantry are Fridays, 1pm-3pm at the Morland Community Hub in Highbridge’s Pearce Drive (TA9 3FU).

The pantry is funded by Somerset County Council and supported by Sedgemoor District Council. For more details, contact HBoS.Pantry@gmail.com.

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