From Stacy of Hyndburn Food Pantry:
How did it all start?
I was one of the founders of the Hyndburn Food Pantry had been at the forefront of the local food response in Hyndburn due to Covid as a member of the Hyndburn Hub, I identified that there is a gap where people can choose affordable food at a low price without the stigma of using a foodbank.
Why are we here?
Hyndburn is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the UK we are located in the heart of East Lancashire. Food security is a serious issue for nearly 40% of the borough. Hyndburn is listed as the 34th most income-deprived in England with near one fifth of the population (18.2 per cent) listed as out of work or on low income.
The figures below are representative of January 2021
- Hungry 5.47% (4438 people)
- Struggling 19.08% (15,480 people)
- Worried 13.95% (11,318 people)
What are we? What do we do ?
The Hyndburn Food Pantry is open to anyone who feels that they are struggling in some way with food.
The Pantry which opened on 26th October 2021, is a recent addition to the Hyndburn affordable food ecosystem we are the first food bank in Hyndburn to evolve into the Pantry style model and we allow people to access affordable and healthy food, toiletries, and household items for a small, subsidised charge.
We open 3 days a week Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
In the 22 months we have been open we are proud to have supported over 2,100 households that’s nearly 8,000 people. We have provided over 50,000 weekly shops. In addition to this over Christmas 2022 we helped families by providing over 520 Christmas food shops reaching 1,820 people dinners at a low cost of only £5. Each family/person received a joint of meat/meat alternative, lots of fresh vegetables all the trimmings and nice treats.
We have several organisations that work with us regularly to help our customers such as Citizens Advice Bureau, Recovery Runners, Red Rose Recovery and many more.
These organisations offer advice and support to our customers e.g. benefit advice, employment advise. By allowing these organisations access to the people who they may not ordinarily reach, allows them to identify any key problems that may be emerging e.g. fuel crisis.
We work alongside many other local organisations such as Lancashire Women, HARV ( DV team), Hyndburn BC, Hyndburn Leisure and many others. We offer to them a scheme of pay it forward vouchers for their clients that are in need of using our pantry and in return we are building up relationships which helps us gain a better understanding of the people we are trying to help.
Anyone in the borough will be able to benefit from the pantry, particularly those having food security issues which according to the statistics below could be up to 31,236 people. The Hyndburn Food Pantry is also an inclusive community hub that is a place where our diverse community can come together to learn about and celebrate food.
Whilst we do provide essential food support we also offer so much more.
We have a community café that we welcome visitors to use and give complimentary refreshments. The café is well used and is now also a communityspace for people to use when we are open.
We are a referral service and listen to our customers concerns we refer to lots of local organisations such as 1st Call (Onward Homes) for benefits help and social housing, HARV for DV victims and so many more.
We work with organisations such as Lancashire Women where they pay it on for their clients and give them a voucher to shop. We also work with our local Council and provide a welcome space for our recent Ukrainian guests where they can shop and meet up with each other to help them settle into their new temporary homes.
We are always looking for new and innovative projects so that we can help people even more.