Food banks aren’t effective in dealing with the crisis in food provision because they only offer short-term occasional support. But our pantry will give ongoing and sustainable and directly for those facing food insecurity. By helping to reduce food costs, people can then manage other expenses better and so better afford fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to other essentials like clothes and heating.
The Scale of the Problem
Figures on food insecurity in Scotland show 14,318 referrals were made for men, women and children in 2012/13. This rose to over 70,000 the next year, and up to 117,689 in 2014/15. More recent figures show 133,726 referrals were made in 2015/16 – 43,962 for children – to access a three-day supply of emergency food.
Reasons for Food Insecurity
Low income, including low-paid, insecure work and inadequate benefit levels, are consistently linked with food insecurity. The price of food, as the well as fuel and rent, affect the ability to afford food. These factors combined with the ravaging affects of welfare reform have damaged the physical and mental health of local people. Debt and welfare rights advice, along with foodbanks, soup kitchens and local food projects, have grown greatly to combat poverty and meet emergency needs.
How The Pantry Works
It will operate with a membership model, with people paying a low subscription of £2.75 and in return accessing approximately £15 worth of food and other essentials.
Produce will be supplied by a number of sources, the majority coming via FareShare, a food redistribution charity. Member subscriptions will be used to provide fresh produce on top of the usual basket of goods. Not only will this tackle food insecurity, it will help reduce food waste and negative environmental impacts.
The Pantry will provide fresh, nutritional, good quality food at a significantly subsidised rate. The model is new to Scotland but is successful in other parts of the UK. Food will be provided in partnership with FareShare Glasgow and will include fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy to offer a quality shopping experience.
Key Benefits of The Pantry
Provide food security to those who need it most
- Place the community at the heart of decision-making about food provision and choices
- Reduce food waste, diverting food from landfill and cutting carbon emissions
- Increase skills, training and employment prospects
- Improve physical and mental health and social inclusion
About Govanhill Baths Community Trust
After almost twenty years of grassroots campaigning and resilience, Govanhill Baths is returning as a vital asset. The wellbeing of our community has always been at the heart of our work, with our ethos: Run for the community, by the community. Our Pantry has been inspired by our work in addressing a range of community needs.
Our work for The Pantry follows from previous work tackling food poverty by delivering:
- A South-East and a South-West Food Map for Glasgow, a vital resource for CABs, Social Work, with 20,000 copies distributed each.
- A Foodbank locally in partnership with Crookston Community Group aimed at minority ethnic people.
- Govanhill Grub since 2010, one of the first community-based healthy eating programmes in Glasgow.