New grants available to help community pantries grow across Hampshire

The rising cost of food and essentials is leaving some households finding shopping harder – but an initiative that makes your food budget go further is continuing to grow in Hampshire

Jul 14 2023

Community pantries are a great way to beat rising supermarket prices and buy good quality tasty food for your household without breaking the bank. They are membership-based and are open to anyone to join.  

Funding applications are currently being invited by Hampshire County Council from organisations wishing to open community pantries in areas in need, or to support an existing community pantry that helps provide families with food. 

A total fund of £800,000 has been made available from the County Council’s share of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund, with applications open until 28 July. This application window coincides with the announcement of the opening of the Hampshire Community Pantry Network’s 20th community pantry,  Growing Places, at Oak Meadow in Fareham later this month. 

Councillor Edward Heron, the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: 

“I’d like to welcome Growing Places to the network, and I look forward to receiving applications for more local pantries across the County. 

“Community pantries play a valuable role in filling the fridges and kitchen shelves of people who don’t qualify for foodbanks but nonetheless find feeding their households increasingly challenging. Pantry members can choose what foods suit them as a family and there is the added benefit of reducing landfill waste. They also serve as valuable community hubs and are very well-placed to signpost or run sessions for members for more support with the cost of living and other services which can help them.” 

Every district within Hampshire has at least one community pantry, a number of which are part of the Community Pantry Network supported by Hampshire County Council. Community pantries build local partnerships to help their work reducing food waste and to gain support with food donations to make available to the community.  

There are currently 20 community pantries operating across the Hampshire network, as well as mobile larders operating in some areas. Pantries all work on the same principle – for a small contribution each week, shoppers can select and take home food and household goods worth around £15. For a full list, visit the community pantries page at connect4communities

The County Council welcomes applications from all existing community pantries and any organisation considering setting up a pantry in their community for those in need.  

To apply for a community pantry grant, visit this page for further information and application details.