Food on shelves

Your Local Pantry opens 12th pantry during pandemic

When Thrive Together Birmingham took on the Your Local Pantry project in early 2019, Church Action on Poverty set a goal of opening four pantries over a two-year period. But the scheme was so successful that by year end of 2020 Shabir Jivraj, Your Local Pantry project officer, had delivered 10 pantries.

He said:
“Pantries are becoming an integral resource to their communities not just by offering food, but also helping to tackle social isolation by offering a café waiting area for members to interact with staff and volunteers. They are all different and bring something unique to the Pantry model.”

Pantries go beyond the food bank model, creating a sustainable and long-term solution to food poverty. Members pay a small weekly fee, typically £3.50, for which they can choose at least ten items of food each week, along with additional opportunities of volunteering and training.

Members have reported improved financial positions, improved health and wellbeing and reduced isolation. The 2018 Social Impact Report also found that for every £1 invested that Pantries have generated a £6 return in social value.

One Pantry member said:
“The Pantry feels different to using a food bank because you have paid, and you are making a choice on the food you take home.”

During the pandemic it has been business as usual with a further two pantries opening at the start of 2021. We also plan to open another two pantries by the end of the year: Saltley Pantry, in partnership with Women Empowering Women; and Northfield Pantry, in collaboration with Allen’s Cross and Saint Bart’s Church.


At the start of the pandemic Hobmoor Oasis Church opened a Pantry in a local school which has now moved to South Yardley Methodist Church. Leeann, Pantry Project Manager is passionate about the Pantry and the positive impact it is having in the community:
“The people we have using the Pantry come from all walks of life. It’s like a community centre for all the community. Regardless of race, religion, ability, or inability they are here. It’s now the official local hangout on a Thursday.”

Karen, the minister at South Yardley Methodist Church is just as thrilled with Pantry taking “The Pantry has really helped the Church to rethink what ministry might look like in South Yardley… This is what I feel we are rooting ourselves in in South Yardley. That call from Jesus to feed this community and to feed ourselves in the process as well. And to all learn and grow and flourish together.”

Hobmoor Pantry have made a film which shows the impact of this work.

You can become a friend or donate to Your Local Pantry.
You can join Your Local Pantry.
Alternatively, you can volunteer by visiting the Your Local Pantry website and clicking on the pantry you are interested in.