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At the outset of the COVID-19 crisis BRAG’s Levenmouth teams stepped in to help Fife Voluntary Action and Fife Council with their Coronavirus emergency response, delivering food parcels to those in need in the Levenmouth area. During this time based at The People’s Pantry in Leven the team were inspired by the emergency response but were also impressed with the ongoing pantry initiative that had been launched in 2018. Boasting 200 regular members with an additional waiting list the team soon realised that the Benarty area would also benefit greatly from creating a similar model and set about setting one up in its home town offering affordable food in the community.
Since then we have:
We are excited to launch the newly refurbished Pantry@Brag , with thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund which we secured in 2021.
Before the renovations began we asked our members what they would like to see with 93% saying they would like to see a more social setting/tea/coffee bar/meeting place where they enjoy a tea/coffee and put funds back into the pantry. Also, social interaction taking place, making new friends, support networks, increasing social and emotional wellbeing. With that in mind, the pantry which is also shared with another local food provision the Benarty Foodbank has a separate food storage room for each provision with floor space for a community store where members can take a shopping basket, browse the shelves for what they need and then take their basket to a bag packing area. We also unveiled the new café with seating area and ‘The Mary Pit Stop’ is now open for members to sit and chat over a cup of tea or coffee.
The pantry will continue long after the Coronavirus crisis ends. There is an increasing need for community led food initiatives as an estimated 8.4 million people are living in food poverty in the United Kingdom today. The pantry model offers a community led approach – run by volunteers and works on a weekly membership basis. For a small fee £3 per week (£4 delivery) members can have their choice of affordable food from the pantry provided by the charity Fare Share along with donations from other local suppliers.
Fare Share’s ethos relies on the principle that no good food should go to waste. They supply community led food initiatives all over the United Kingdom with surplus food from supermarkets. In this way they ensure a greener approach to preventing both hunger and unnecessary food waste.
Pantry members can also register to become volunteers and so can build connections to combat social isolation, improve mental health and gain essential team working skills.
Thanks to funding from Centrica we will be providing energy advice sessions for our pantry members. This will come as a huge benefit in light of the recent energy increases.
The sessions will be delivered by Greener Kirkcaldy and we will let members know when they are about to begin.
Pantry day is every Thursday at Brag from 1pm – 3pm for drop in with deliveries taking place on a Thursday and Friday to those most vulnerable.
NEW! pay it forward – pay for one local family’s pantry shop for the week here.
If you would like to donate to the pantry please click here.
Or to buy supplies from our amazon wish list here.
To volunteer at the pantry please click here.
To register as a member simply call us on 01592 860296 Mon to Fri 10am to 3pm or email us at [email protected].