Rocketing food costs prompt community pantry in Lillington - The Leamington Observer

Rocketing food costs prompt community pantry in Lillington

Leamington Editorial 14th Mar, 2022   0

A COMMUNITY pantry in response to fast rising food prices is set to launch in Lillington.

Local charity, Feed The Hungry has joined forces with Warwickshire County Council (WCC) to open Lillington Community Pantry which brings together food support, advice services and adult education.

Lillington East is in the top 20 per cent of the country’s most deprived areas, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, and the number of adults claiming Universal Credit or Job Seekers allowance last November was among the highest in Warwickshire.

The pantry in Pound Lane – which opens today (Thursday) – aims to provide a vital resource for the community as the cost of living rockets.

Those who visit are able to shop much like they would at a supermarket for a small membership fee.

The project has been inspired by support carried out during the pandemic and will also provide users with access to advice and guidance from partner organisations including Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Adult & Community Learning and Warwickshire Community & Voluntary Action.

Feed the Hungry spokesman Gavin Kibble said: “Community pantries are fundamentally about in-community support where all the local agencies work together to help those in need.

“The pandemic has taught us we must learn to rally together to meet the increased needs of our community, but also work to provide more holistic and sustainable care for those in need.

“And with the cost of living rising, these services give individuals the opportunity to build up beneficial relationships that will hopefully lead to maintainable, long-term solutions to their situations.”

According to the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD 2019) Lillington is the seventh most deprived area of 339 in Warwickshire.

County councillor Sarah Boad, for Leamington North, said: “I’m pleased that Warwickshire County Council is working with Feed The Hungry to establish the Lillington Community Pantry at the Council’s premises in Pound Lane.

“Community pantries are not just about providing help at the point of crisis but instead offer a more sustainable solution. In addition to access to food, people will be given access to wrap-around support and services in the community, through our partnerships with other organisations, reducing their need to travel for help, education and advice.”

The pantry will be open Thursdays and Fridays, 11am to 3pm, at the Warwickshire Adult and Community Learning Centre in Pound Lane.

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