Ringwood is one step away from launching a community pantry – can you help?

Ringwood is just one step away from hosting an exciting new way to shop for everyday essentials at reduced prices – a well-stocked and affordable community pantry in the town library. The new pantry’s venue and support are all in place – all that’s now needed to make it a reality is a local organisation to come forward to run it

Oct 16 2023

shelf at a community pantry
Across Hampshire, community pantries are managed by a wide range of organisations, from church groups to community associations. Any organisation coming forward will receive comprehensive support from the County’s pantry network, the Local Authority’s Food Insecurity Partnerships Officer and Hampshire Libraries, as well as the Southern Co-op’s community team.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, is encouraging local organisations that want to help the Ringwood community to come forward. He said:

“With funding from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund, Hampshire County Council’s connect4communities team supports a network of pantries across the County, and these have been hugely popular at all locations. So far, the New Forest has sadly lacked a full-sized community pantry, but I look forward to seeing Ringwood’s community pantry open for business and making surplus food available to those who need it.”

Community pantries are a practical response to the cost-of-living crisis and Hampshire currently has a growing network of 21, plus mobile larders in some areas. Pantries are distinct from food banks – anyone can become a member by registering on their first visit and can shop there once a week for a fee of around £5. Councillor Heron added:

“Community pantries are a grassroots solution to inflation that, as well as providing food of a significantly higher value than the weekly membership fee, offers friendly social interaction and access to opportunities and activities such as cookery classes, budgeting advice and other cost of living help.

“Let’s not let this opportunity pass Ringwood by – if any organisation can be involved, I urge them to get in touch.”

To find out more please email [email protected].