Blog post

Tattenhall Free Pantry

November 15, 2023

The consequences of Covid and the economic downturn have affected our community as with all others. Food and energy poverty are now effecting many households including in Tattenhall. 

One way support has been provided across the country is through Food Banks. In Tattenhall the Trussell Trust, in collaboration with Tattenhall Park Primary School and St Alban’s Church, have been making emergency food boxes available to families of children attending the school. This has been available throughout the term times and, to some degree, during school holidays as well.  

However, there is a gap in this provision for those individuals or families not in contact with the school and Transition Tattenhall is hoping to work with others to tackle this problem.

Work is now being developed between the Trussell Trust, St Albans, Tattenhall Park Primary School, Transition Tattenhall, Tattenhall Library, Tattenhall Allotment Association and the Spar to find ways of establishing a Free Pantry on the lines of similar services provided in Canada and some parts of the UK.  

One aspect of emergency food banks is the issue of stigma, particularly in small communities, where people using the supply might feel uncomfortable, or even be reluctant to use, the provision. So we need a solution that works to counter this for the communities here in Tattenhall.

The pantry could work in the following way:

  • Transition Tattenhall raises funds to finance the scheme
  • The Tattenhall Spar provides funded food boxes
  • The scheme runs for an initial period of 3 months to assess its usefulness and access.
  • The Trussell Trust designs the variety of Free Pantry food/household requirements or alternatively the Spar does that itself. 
  • The Park School widens its access to include non school family who can access the supplies during school hours.
  • The Library would also participate as an access point for collection.
  • The Free Pantry offer is widely publicised to all families and individuals who deem themselves  in need of emergency food supplies.
  • Access will be via a school/church/library and online text request.
  • The project will require a small team of volunteers.
  • The Allotments Assoc. is seeking to provide surplus veg during the season.
  • Access to the Pantry would be for all residents in Tattenhall & District.

There are several unresolved issues from the above proposals which will need to be tackled as the project moves forward.

There are a number for other similar designs for community food access such as Community Fridges and Community Poverty services, but it feels that we need to design something that specifically fits the community of Tattenhall.

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