A NEW community pantry is set to open in Bridgwater this month after a successful pilot project.

The new pantry is based at South Bridgwater Community Hub in Rhode Lane and will be open on Wednesday’s from November 25.

It follows a successful a community pantry project which was set up in the Syndenham area of Bridgwater in June to provide fresh and cupboard food to families for a fraction of the normal price, while helping the environment.

The project was set up by the Sedgemoor District Council’s Community Services team in partnership with the charity FareShare Southwest.

At the new pantry members can collect food between 1.30pm and 4pm and there are 30 places available for new members.

Liam Sweeney, Community Development Officer for Housing, Communities & Wellbeing at Sedgemoor District Council, said: “We are really looking forward to getting this community pantry up and running to help our community.

“The pilot project in Sydenham has been a big success and we knew we wanted to extend it further so we are now launching one in Hamp.

“We have spaces available for 30 new members and food can be collected between 1.30pm and 4pm.

“It’s still £3.50 per parcel per week, and food varies in value from £15 - £25 worth, and is always a minimum of 14 food items.

“We are aiming to provide regular recipe cards with the food each week and are working with Hettie Simpson from SASP to achieve this.”

The new pantry will be run by volunteers and the food is sourced by FareShare works with large organisations to help bridge the gap between food producers, supermarkets and landfill to ensure good, fresh food is not wasted.

Fairfax Labour Councillor Hilary Bruce says “It’s great to see that the Pantry scheme can now begin to expand its reach with the opening of the second hub in Hamp planned for the end of November.

“The Sydenham Pantry was established as a pilot hub and thanks to the support of the volunteers, SDC’s Community Team, ward councillors and of course the residents who have signed up as members, I am pleased to say that it has been very successful.

“The project offers so much potential, it’s not just about the food – although saving good food from the bin is always a top priority.

“The Pantry offers an opportunity for people to learn how to cook and eat well for less, for the community to connect with each other by volunteering and/or donating, for students to get work experience and for people to learn new skills.”