Where is Southport Food Pantry ? The Pantry is based at the Grace Centre on the corner of Market Street and Princes Street in Southport.
Who can become a member? Eligibility is explained in our Membership Guidelines.
How do I pay for my membership?£5 is payable at each weekly visit, by cash only. There are facilities to pay in advance for future visits, if this helps with your budgeting but there are no facilities to accept card payments.
What if I can’t pay my membership subscription?Unfortunately Southport Pantry is only accessible on payment of the membership subscription.
Is Southport Food Pantry a Food Bank?It is similar to a foodbank in that it is set up to help people who are struggling – but there are some differences. The Pantry has a club membership scheme where members can visit each week, receive help with budgeting and cooking on a budget and select a set number of items of their own choice from a wide selection. Members cannot belong to both the Southport Trussell Trust Food Bank and the Pantry.
What does Southport Food Pantry stock?A lot of your kitchen cupboard favourites like cereal, tinned goods, pasta, biscuits and toiletries. From time to time there may also be chilled items, such as milk available. The pantry does not stock alcohol.
Is the stock good quality and in date?The Pantry does not stock food that is past it’s ‘use by date’ as this could be harmful to health and it is against the law. However, we do stock items that are past their ‘best before’ date.
The British Food Standards Agency says, “‘Best before’ dates are about quality, not safety. Manufacturers put a best ‘before date’ on food packaging to indicate how long the food will be at its best quality. When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it may begin to lose its taste, aroma or texture but still remains edible and safe”.
With regards to eggs, the advice is that providing they are cooked thoroughly (until both yolk and white are solid), or are used in dishes where they will be fully cooked such as a cake, they can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date.
Every year, in households across the UK, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink, most of which could be consumed. At the Pantry we encourage members to think carefully before throwing away food past its ‘best before’ date.
Where do the goods come from?Items are purchased using Membership subscriptions from national distribution charities such as ‘Fareshare’. This is usually food which is in date and good to eat but has become surplus, for simple reasons such as over-production, labelling errors or short shelf-life.
There are regular collections of short, end of life and damaged produce from food retail outlets across Southport. These are delivered to the Pantry on a weekly basis.
Donated items are also collected regularly through community outlets and churches. Many items on offer at the Pantry are received through the generous food donations from members of the public.
During certain times of the year, some of the fresh food on offer may have also been received through local food growing projects.
What are membership subscriptions used for?The money received from membership subscription is used to purchase stock, buy equipment and pay for running costs.
Can I make donations to the Southport Food Pantry?We are happy to receive cash, cheques or donations of unwanted in-date groceries and locally grown food such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, which will be distributed to members along with other goods available.
How long is my membership for?Membership is for a defined period of time, depending on your individual circumstances. Please refer to the Membership Guidelines for more information.
How can I contact Southport Food PantryThere are a number of different ways to contact Southport Food Pantry and to keep up to date with the latest information. You can use the contact us on the form. Alternatively you can call Vicki on 07
The Southport Food Pantry is a members only food club which was opened on Friday 24th November 2017. The new venture was formed under the Southport and Formby Churches Debt Centre Limited, charity number 1172949 located at the Grace Centre 40 Market Street, Southport. The food club is aimed at people within the Sefton area who are ‘just managing’ financially. The pantry runs a food club membership and provides food and non food items to members referred to the club by organisations and agencies such as foodbanks, The Salvation Army, Welfare services and Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
Food club members clients pay weekly membership fee of £5 which then entitles them to a weekly food and non food shopping worth around £20. Members can choose good value food from a range including chilled goods, fresh and tinned. Other items on offer include quality duvets, children’s books and toys. We also have weekly additional free items for members to choose from.
The food we provide for members is sourced from various suppliers, mainly from the surplus from the supermarkets through the food cloud called Fareshare, UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste. The pantry also sources food and other vital items from local businesses.
The pantry provides a friendly and community atmosphere for the members and encourages interaction as members find it easy to chat to each other and to some volunteers who offer help and support. We hope to offer more in terms of networking and support by introducing additional activities such as cooking and budgeting sessions, money advise, welfare, health and well-being through our partner agencies.
The Pantry is supported by churches from Southport and Formby.
Becoming a Member of Southport Food Pantry
- Membership is through referral process only. Places are allocated when referral agents have completed assessment of all applicants. There are limited places, when these are filled names will be placed on a waiting list.
- Members must be 16 years or over
- Membership to Southport Food Pantry is for residents who live within the Southport, Ainsdale or Formby area and/or have been referred by a partner agency (e.g. Southport Trussell Trust Foodbank, Christians Against Poverty, Southport Community Money Advice) and meet the following criteria.
- Health – An individual suffering a physical incapacity and/or mental health issues within the last 6 months resulting in temporary financial/emotional distress.
- Caring Responsibilities – An individual or household which has taken on caring for an additional family member from outside their household within the last 6 months, resulting in temporary financial distress
- Debt – An individual or household paying arrears or debts resulting in financial distress where the individual or household is in receipt of working age benefits or tax credits
- Fleeing Domestic Violence – An individual or household fleeing or having fled domestic violence within the last 3 months
- All members will be re-assessed on six month anniversary to ensure they still fall within the criteria set out by the Southport Food Pantry.
- Anyone accepted by the Southport Food Pantry will need to adhere to membership guidelines.
- There is only one membership for each household
- There are a limited number of memberships available and access to membership is dependent on capacity. When capacity is reached, a waiting list will operate.
- All members offered membership are expected to visit the Southport Food Pantry on a weekly basis
- Membership is non-transferable
- Members must NOT use services such as Southport Trussell Trust Foodbank once they are a member of the Southport Food Pantry
- Membership subscription is £5 per weekly visit (Initial 'opening' Discounts may apply)
- Southport Food Pantry reserves the right to cancel or refuse membership. The reasons for doing so include if:
- members move away from the area
- members attempt to steal items from the Pantry
- members take food/items from the Pantry and give them to someone who is not in your household
- members attend the Pantry under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- members are found to be abusive towards Pantry or staff/volunteers, or
- members do not access the Pantry during a four week period
- Items taken from the Pantry are only for the consumption/use of members and those they live with and should not be given away to others.
- Membership and the criteria are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Monthly meetings with the Food Pantry Manager and partners will take place to ensure best use is being made of the pantry.
- Members should bring their own shopping bags – reusable bags are issued at your first visit to the pantry.
- Members can visit the Pantry once a week.
- Members cannot pre-order items and there is no guaranteed availability of any item week to week.
- Items on offer each week may vary subject to availability and whilst stocks last.
- Where products may be stocked past their best before date, with damaged packaging, labelling or with no labelling at all, it is the responsibility of the member to decide whether to take these products at their own risk.
- No photography or phone calls by members, volunteers or partners whilst in the Food Pantry. Alternative arrangements should be found.