St Giles Trust, based in Leeds, have been a community food member with FareShare Yorkshire for almost two years.
They work with a range of individuals, empowering people who need their support. From children and families who need extra support, to working alongside prison leavers to give them the services they need, St Giles’ offer a wide range of advice and support services.
St Giles run ‘The Pantry’, which is a pay-weekly food pantry initiative, coupling healthy food with a healthy shopping experience. They offer an emergency safety net and a sustainable route out of poverty within six months.
Peer advisors are around to speak to individuals while they shop, offering advice and helping to address the underlying issues leading to food poverty. By combining healthy food with expert advice, they help individuals visiting The Pantry to overcome the barriers that they face, as well as ensuring they come away with an abundance of nutritious food that has been saved from landfill.
Their FareShare Yorkshire deliveries contain a wide range of food items. Fruit, vegetables, meat, cheese, snacks, meat alternatives and frozen food is just a selection of what they receive.
Lorna Lacey, Pantry Coordinator at St Giles, says that being a community food member has allowed them to help a lot of people who are struggling.
“Being a community food member has helped to feed our community. There’s a lot of people who have struggled with job losses during the pandemic, or are finding it difficult to adapt to the rise in the cost of living. Using The Pantry is helping these people to get back on track.
“We have had many families and people come out of food poverty due to the food we have had, with many being able to clear debts as they are not having to prioritise food over bills. Our clients have been able to stop skipping meals, have good portions of food and even include nutritious things like vegetables to their plates.”
Lorna explained that being a community food member and receiving the surplus food has been incredibly beneficial.
“We are a charity with many projects and work with a lot of vulnerable people. Getting these orders from FareShare Yorkshire has given us the resources to be able to provide what is greatly needed. We encourage other organisations to join as a community food member, you will get so many success stories!”