Wigan food pantry to open inside shipping container

Shevington Community Pantry will expand to Standish Lower Ground at St Anne's Primary School

Friday, 16th April 2021, 7:00 am
The new container safely ensconced into its new home

A grassroots scheme to provide Wiganers with low-cost food is set to expand.

Shevington Community Pantry started out during lockdown last spring and was based at St Anne’s Parish Centre.

The project will now grow further with plans for a community pantry to come to Standish Lower Ground at St Anne’s Primary School.

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The new container is lowered into place

It has seen a shipping container delivered to the school which has been donated by local firm BAAS Construction.

The container was off-loaded by a crane into its place at the front of the school and will be transformed into the pantry.

Volunteers hope that the pantry can be up and running as soon as possible.

Rev Jenny Brown, Associate Vicar at St Anne’s Church, Shevington, Standish Lower Ground and Crooke, who is involved with the project, said: “This is great news as our pantry’s help the environment by reducing food waste and provide an alternative cheaper shop for members of the community.

“It enables them to get really good value food for £5 for the year as a member and £3 for 20 items each time they visit.

“We have tinned foods, fresh veg, bananas and bakery items amongst other things.

The plans to expand mark a significant milestone for the scheme, which started last year, with a group of volunteers delivering emergency food parcels for those struggling with their finances or unable to get out to the shops.

However, when restrictions started to ease in July the group had considerable monetary support from ward councillors and from discount store B&M.

They decided to keep going as a membership scheme providing low-cost produce to those who signed up and joined forces with Fur Clemt, which works to keep edible food from being thrown away and ending up in landfill, while the pantry also gets some of its produce from FareShare.

This move means the pantry is now popular not only with those who find themselves cash-strapped and need assistance getting food on the table but those who want to support the organisation for other reasons, such as being concerned about the future of the planet and the contribution of food waste to environmental issues.

Jenny said: “We just want to be able to support families.

“It’s for environmentally friendly people also but for anyone really.

“This next stage of our project with the new pantry is really exciting and hopefully it can be done as soon as possible.”

The group is also appealing for local tradesmen to come forward and anyone else who can help with transforming the shipping container into the pantry.

Anyone wanting to help should email [email protected]

New members are always welcome and people who want to join the scheme can either turn up and ask for a form or can download one from Shevington Parish Council’s website.

The Community Pantry is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Shevington Community Pantry is open at the parish centre on Church Lane on Mondays and Wednesdays between 1.30pm and 3pm and on Saturday from 9.30am to 11am.

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