Residents in the Eckington Parish now have access to a community run project with a difference following the opening of a ‘Community Pantry’ in the town.
Rykneld Homes is helping to support the project to benefit local residents.
A member of the community was keen to set up a food project to support people affected by Covid so they approached the Parish Council to see what could be done. From here the seed was sown and a partnership group was set up which includes Rykneld Homes, Eckington Parish Council, Eckington Business Development Company, Rural Action Derbyshire and volunteers from the local area.
The pantry has its own permanent home in Eckington Business Development Centre and is available to anyone living in the area who needs support at this time due to financial difficulties. The pantry offers a broad range of good quality food and household goods. The stock mainly comes from Fareshare which helps to prevent food waste and local companies have also supported the initiative including Morrisons at Halfway and GP Prices.
The pantry is open two days a week, currently Wednesdays 9.30am – 11.30am and Fridays from 10am to 12noon at Eckington Business Centre on Market Street. For a joining fee of £2 members receive a quality hessian bag for life and a membership card. After that customers make a suggested donation of £3.50 per shop which allows them to choose 15 items. The donations help to make the project sustainable.
“We currently receive visits from around 20 customers at each session, people welcome the opportunity to be able to access this service which greatly helps people to manage their budgets at this difficult time. It can make all the difference for some people – especially those who may have been financially affected during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said a spokesperson for the Pantry.
“The Community Pantry wouldn’t be possible without the support of the volunteers, supermarkets, Fareshare, Rural Action Derbyshire, Eckington Parish Council, Eckington Business Development Centre and Rykneld Homes. Bev Parker, CEO of Rural Action Derbyshire said, "It’s been a pleasure for Feeding Derbyshire to work with Eckington Community Pantry, on what is an important step towards everyone having access to good nutrition regardless of their income, and we look forward to working with local groups to establish many more community pantries over the next two years."
Anyone interested in becoming a member can pop along to meet with staff on Wednesdays or Friday or telephone 01246 439010 or email email@example.com.
More information can also be found on the Eckington Community Pantry Facebook page.