Hampshire’s community pantry network grows as more help announced with cost-of-living challenges

More residents of Eastleigh and Test Valley will soon be able to join the thousands of Hampshire people who use community pantries to stretch their grocery budget each week, with the announcement of a county-wide package of support totalling more than £424,000

Oct 11 2023

shelf of vegetables and fruit at a community pantry

Pilands Wood Community Association in Bursledon, and Test Valley charity Unity have received start-up funding from Hampshire County Council’s Household Support Fund (HSF) to open community pantries in their areas. The Pilands Wood pantry will operate from the local community centre, while Unity will provide a travelling pantry serving the Stockbridge, West Wellow and King’s Somborne areas.

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

“I am delighted to welcome these two new pantries to our active network. Such pantries are at the heart of many communities all over Hampshire, listening to their members to deliver services and activities that meet local needs. 

“As well as providing affordable weekly food shopping for their members, pantries are a friendly and safe space, creating an environment that encourages a feeling of inclusion and belonging. It is also heartening to approve discretionary grants for those pantries that applied for them, enabling them to offer extra assistance to their members to help with basic necessities.”

The latest grants will provide a six-month start-up fund for the new pantries in the Hampshire Community Pantry Network and 12 months’ continued support for established pantries (£378,880 of the total). 

The discretionary grants (totalling £45,500) can be used by pantry managers to help members take steps to maintain a healthy standard of living at home. 

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