Following on from the success of our regular food hubs and the additional mobile pantry service we brought in over the lockdown period, Community Gateway Association (CGA) has launched The Purple Pantry at Moor Nook Community Office, Langden Drive, Preston PR2 6HT.
What is the Purple Pantry?
The Purple Pantry is a new food outlet, which offers high quality food through a simple membership scheme. It’s open on a seven-week trial basis but we hope will prove so successful in supporting our customers and the local community that we can continue on a longer-term basis. We’ll be talking to customers to see what they think and also whether we could consider opening on occasional evenings or Saturday mornings.
Who can use the Purple Pantry?
The Purple Pantry is open to all Community Gateway customers, regardless of where they live. In addition, residents living in the Moor Nook local community* who are not living in a Community Gateway home are welcome to join The Purple Pantry. Membership packages will vary based on the number of people in your household, and whether or not you are a Community Gateway customer.
Why are we doing it?
We understand that many of our customers find it difficult to afford their weekly food bills, or have to stick to buying a limited range or “value” items. Many turn to foodbanks who provide a fantastic service for people in crisis. However, often the foodbanks can only provide three days of emergency food and put limits on how often you can use them. We often find too that the food parcels may include things you don’t need or want, leading to unnecessary food waste.
Research shows us that over four-fifths of people using a foodbank are from working households. On top of this, it’s clear that many of those who turn to foodbanks to feed their families would much rather go to a shop, but simply can’t afford the prices.
At Community Gateway we want to trial a service that we think bridges that gap between the foodbank and the supermarket – an affordable alternative.
How does it work?
With all this in mind, we set up The Purple Pantry, working with FareShare Preston and James Hall & Co. The Purple Pantry offers tinned, fresh, chilled and frozen food and unlike foodbanks, customers can browse and select products of their own choice from a range of more than a hundred different items. Everything on the shelves is excess stock from the food industry and not ‘out of date’ supplies.
The Purple Pantry is open from 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday. On your first visit, we will sign you up for membership by checking details on our housing management system, if you are a Community Gateway tenant. If you live in the Moor Nook local community* but do not live in a Community Gateway home, you will need to bring proof of your address. After that, you will just need to give your name when you pop in. We prefer card payments where possible, but we are perfectly happy to accept cash in the shop if you prefer.
The Purple Pantry is not a foodbank. Membership is not means-tested and packages will be tailored to customers, based on the number of people in the household. Local people who aren’t CGA tenants can also make use of The Purple Pantry, but will have a slightly different membership package as shown below. There are standard and enhanced packages and to provide some context, 25 points provides around £30 to £40 of food at retail prices.
Packages available to Community Gateway customers
Package available to Moor Nook local community members
*Moor Nook local community member defined by CGA