A new approach to affordable food in Cardiff

19th August 2019

People in Cardiff will be able to access affordable healthy food, thanks to a new project initiated by Food Cardiff.

ACE (Action in Caerau & Ely) has set up the Dusty Forge Pantry, to be run and used by local people, at its base in west Cardiff. The project is the latest in the growing Your Local Pantry network, and the network’s first in Wales.

ACE-OpenDay-group shot

Pantries are membership-based food clubs that enable people to access food at a small fraction of its usual supermarket price, improving household food security and freeing up more money for other essential household costs such as rent and utilities. The weekly fee at Dusty Forge is £5 for which members will be able to choose ten items, with a total value of around £20.

The idea to set up a Your Local Pantry in Cardiff was developed by Food Cardiff as part of the Building Resilience: 5 Year Food Security Plan. Food Cardiff worked with Cardiff Business School to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a pantry in Cardiff.

Your Local Pantry is a social franchise set up by Church Action on Poverty and Stockport Homes, who are now supporting the roll-out of pantries across the UK.

ACE-OpenDay-Pantry-03

Pantries are long-term, community-led solutions that can loosen the grip of food poverty in a particular neighbourhood. They provide members with more choice over the food they get than is possible at food banks, and are controlled by the members, strengthening the community’s ability to prevent food poverty or to progress out of food crisis.

Food Cardiff partner Fareshare Cymru supplies the Pantry with quality, healthy and in-date food that would have otherwise gone to waste, saving over 12 tonnes of food per year. As the Dusty Forge Pantry develops, Food Cardiff will support other local businesses, allotments and community growing sites to supply fresh, sustainably grown food to the Pantry.

The Dusty Forge Pantry also provides members with a cookbook library, a social space to connect with other members and volunteering opportunities to develop skills and give back to the project.

The staff and volunteers will also be working closely with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board community dieticians to run Get Cooking courses and provide nutrition advice to members.

Part of Food Cardiff’s 5 Year Food Security Plan is to develop a network of Your Local Pantries in areas of need across Cardiff. If you are part of an organisation who might be interested in running a Your Local Pantry please contact pearl.costello@wales.nhs.uk.

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