A BRAND new pantry aiming to help people access healthy and affordable food has opened its doors to the community in Castlemilk.
The Castlemilk Panty is the latest to spring up in Glasgow and is a much-needed boost for local families.
It has been created with support from many funders including The Watson Foundation which said it was “proud to be playing our part.”
It is located within Castlemilk Community Centre in Castlemilk Drive and launched on Thursday, June 3.
The pantry operates by giving members who sign up for £1 a year access to around £15 worth of goods for a flat rate of just £2.50 per shop and got off to a flying start with 92 people signing up on day one.
It delivers a dignified approach to tackling food inequality and where pantries are already operating, they have proved an instant hit with local people.
The pantry also addresses the issue of food waste . Shockingly, £9.7 billion of food is wasted in the UK each year for a variety of reasons and we all have to learn to conserve food and throw out less.
The pantry is stocked with a wide variety of fresh, frozen, dried and tinned products with special offers each week and will sell food purchased from another social enterprise – the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity FareShare
Castlemilk’s housing associations have been at the forefront of the pantry drive led by Ardenglen Housing Association supported enthusiastically by neighbours North View, Cassiltoun, Craigdale and Glasgow Housing Associations.
Staffed by volunteers it is currently open to everyone living in the G45 postcode area, with plans to open to other local communities, once it is established. The Pantry will be mostly staffed by volunteers. It will open initially for across two days per week from 10am – 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays then increasing to operating across 18 hours per week.
Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen Housing Association, said: “This is a hugely-significant development for the Castlemilk community as we tackle head on the issue of food inequality and deliver a solution right on people’s doorstep.
John Watson OBE added: “This is an important step forward for a thriving community like Castlemilk. We are proud and delighted to be playing our part and helping to make a community asset such as the pantry a reality.”