In November 2023, the Old Sarum and Longhedge Community Pantry received £2,000 in funding from Selwood Housing's Stronger Communities Fund. The funding was used to build a much-needed new storeroom for the food supplied to the local community.
The community pantry opened in May 2023 and is run by volunteers. Local residents can pay £1 for an annual pantry membership which grants them access to purchase items in the pantry. The pantry provides food at a subsidised cost, and shoppers select food items based on a points system, spending up to 10 points (£3.50) or 15 points (£5.00). So far it has built up over 100 members.
Centre Manager, Nina, said:
Building a storeroom for the pantry has made an enormous difference to the pantry. We now have a dedicated space where we can see all of the stock and visually it looks more appealing for our members to use. It has also cut down our set up time meaning that we can use the extra time to create meal ideas for our members. It has been a huge success, with thanks to the funding support from Selwood Housing.
The pantry is located in the Old Sarum and Longhedge Community Centre in Salisbury. It's also a registered local warm space and serves as a chatty café for the community, offering free drinks and light refreshments. Through funding, council support and ongoing community investment, this project has become sustainable and a real support to the local community during the ongoing cost of living crisis.