Food on shelves

Waltham Forest residents will be able to save on their weekly shopping bills thanks to a new community food project in Chingford.

Published: 13/11/2020

The Pantry has been set up by the Peabody Community Foundation at the Paradox Community Centre on the Chingford Hall Estate.

We at Peabody have recognised that 2020 has brought with it unprecedented challenges to households across the country and have launched this community Pantry to help Waltham Forest residents save money on their weekly food shops. This is the latest in the national Your Local Pantry network which has expanded rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak. It was officially declared open by the Mayor of Waltham Forest and local volunteers on Monday 2 November 2020.

About the Pantry at the Paradox Centre

Pantries are membership-based food clubs that enable people to access food at a small fraction of the usual supermarket prices, freeing up more money for other essential household costs such as rent and utilities. The weekly fee at the Pantry at the Paradox Centre is £4.50. Members will be able to choose at least ten items, with a total value of around £15 or more.

"I signed up because I wanted to save money and get help with my shopping. Things are getting hard at the moment. It helps with your family bills and you get named brand things and it is value for money."

Brendan Sarsfield, CEO of Peabody, explained that the pantry would bring lasting benefits to local people:
"Peabody’s community Pantry provides a sustainable food service to residents which enables them to save money on essential items each week. Through this Pantry, we aim to create a community where we can also signpost people to vital wrap-around support services provided by Peabody and our partners, for example money management advice, early years programmes and employment support services.

"This is a very difficult time for many people, and nationally we have seen increased demand for crisis food support. We launched the Pantry now so we can complement the work of local food banks and provide a long-term, sustainable food solution."

Niall Cooper, Director of Church Action on Poverty, said:
"Your Local Pantry member-run food clubs have been a real success story in the past few years, especially during the pandemic. They are enabling more than 7,000 people in neighbourhoods around the UK to loosen the grip of high prices, whilst at the same time reducing social isolation and strengthening communities. Covid has made the pressures on low-income households even greater, but Your Local Pantry has shown itself to be a vital lifeline that can prevent people from being swept  into poverty."

More about pantries

Pantries are long-term, community-led solutions which provide members with more choice than is possible at food banks. They are run by volunteers from the local area, strengthening the community’s ability to avoid food poverty. There are now 31 around the country, with new pantries also having opened in Liverpool and Cardiff since the start of the pandemic. They have various food sources including supermarket surplus via food recycling charity FareShare. They have also developed relationships with local food businesses.

Church Action on Poverty is supporting the roll-out of pantries across the UK under the banner of Your Local Pantry, after initial projects run by Stockport Homes were shown to have brought social, financial and health benefits. Anybody interested in setting up a Your Local Pantry in their community is invited to email 

The Pantry is just one of many projects supported by the Peabody Community Foundation. If you would like further information about the Pantry at the Paradox Centre in Chingford, or the wider work of the Peabody Community Foundation team in the borough, please email us or call Ellie on 020 3544 9449

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