Hampshire County Council is inviting funding applications from organisations wishing to open community pantry grants in areas in need, or to support an existing community pantry that helps provide families with food.

A total fund of £800,000 has been made available from the County Council’s share of the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund to provide the grants. Applications are open from 05 February until 23 February.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Community pantries are a big help for those who may not meet the criteria for foodbanks yet still struggle with the cost of food. At pantries, members get to choose what they need while helping to reduce landfill waste. They also act as important local hubs where people can get help with the cost of living and access other useful services. We look forward to receiving applications to start more community pantries in Hampshire.”

Every district in Hampshire has at least one community pantry, some of which are part of the Community Pantry Network supported by Hampshire County Council. Community pantries build local partnerships to help reduce food waste and to gain support with food donations to make available to local people.

There are currently 23 community pantries operating across the Hampshire network, as well as mobile larders operating in some areas. Pantries all work on the same principle – for a small contribution each week, shoppers can select and take home food and household goods worth around £15. For a full list, visit the community pantries page at connect4communities.

The County Council welcomes applications from all existing community pantries and any organisation considering setting up a new pantry in their community for those in need.

Visit the website to apply for a community pantry grant and for further information and application details.