A new initiative has been launched in Aberdeen to help people fight food poverty in a dignified way.
‘The Pantry’ is opening on 12 February in the Woodside Community Centre, Aberdeen; the first initiative of its kind in Scotland.
The Pantry is a holistic approach that helps low-income people to move away from the use food bank by paying a weekly token fee for their shopping. Those who may struggle to make ends meet and live in the catchment area of the project can apply for membership.
The membership fee is £2.50 a week, which entitles the member to pick 10 food items. The items at the Pantry are weighted: members can have fish or meat, fruit and vegetables and 9 ambient food items.
The partners of this project; Fersands and Fountain Community Project, Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) and FareShare, are making sure that every segment of the Pantry helps the community and those in need to access support.
“People are becoming more dependent on food banks, but some feel there’s a stigma about going to one. At the Pantry, we are hoping to offer a hand up, not a hand out,” said Claire Whyte, Pantry Community Worker.
“Food bank beneficiaries have to pick items they like from food parcels, while the Pantry will have everything a supermarket can provide: fruit, vegetables, meat and nappies.
“We are hoping this will reduce the financial pressure on people and let them stretch their money further,” she added.