Gosport Food Pantry will welcome visitors for the first time on Friday, April 9, to the new facility which will offer groceries for a nominal fee so families can choose what they want.
Operating from Gosport Borough Football Club in Privett Road, the pantry follows the club’s Feed a Family campaign which has delivered more than 5,000 hampers to families throughout the pandemic.
Pantry users will be able to pay £5 to access the facility, and will be able to choose 10 ‘green’ labelled items and two ‘orange’ items, which will be worth more than the fee paid.
People warned not to go to popular beach this weekend unless they have booking
Royal Navy warship based in Portsmouth is due to set sail on a three-year mission to maintain the security in Gulf
Fareham dog walker and trainer Ian 'Wiggy' Symes thought to be killed by XL American Bully breed dog
Crash on M27 at Fareham leaves two lanes blocked causing heavy delays for drivers in heatwave
River Ems crisis: Westbourne villagers plead with Portsmouth Water to introduce a hosepipe ban
Debra Redpath, community coordinator, said the pantry will be non-judgemental and open to anyone in need.
She said: ‘This just feels like that next logical step to help people to help themselves. We want them to feel like they’re just coming shopping and there is no stigma to it.
‘We have bought what we think people want, but there might be something people want us to have and if we can, we will.
‘I’m not here to decide who gets it and who doesn’t because we have all had a tough year. Everyone’s situation is different, we are making a difference.’
Gosport Food Pantry will be open every Friday at Gosport Borough Football Club from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm, and it is a self-referral service so people can turn up and fill in a form to become a member.
Green labelled items at the pantry include dried pasta, tinned tomatoes, soup, flour, rice, tinned fruit, washing up liquid, soap, sanitary products and more.
Items with an orange sticker include less essential items such as frozen chips, sugar, teabags, hot chocolate and crisps.
There will also be fruit and vegetables available which will not be counted towards the total number of items, and Debra hopes to create some recipe cards for the less common items so families know how to make meals with unfamiliar ingredients.
Debra aims to include other aspects to the scheme which would help turn the football club into a community hub, with other needs catered for during a visit including the potential for recipe and nutrition advice, first aid lessons and employment support services.
Debra added: ‘I think communities have to support themselves and we can be a part of that community and that support for each other, making sure that we know what people’s needs are and what we can do to help.
‘It’s about being more than a football club and being really at the heart of the community.’
A community pantry has been set up in each district across Hampshire, including in Leigh Park and Fareham.
The crowdfunding campaign for Feed a Family in Need is still open at crowdfunder.co.uk/feed-a-family-in-need-with-the-boro and the club is always in need of food donations to boost stock.
For more information about Gosport Food Pantry, email [email protected] or phone 07868 089757.