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Resourceful eco pantry cuts down food waste

COMMUNITY: Some of the attendees of the community cooking class at Hornsea Nursery School in the pantry with Mrs Kim Dallimore (left)

  By Andrea Kirk  
A NEW community pantry has been launched at Hornsea Nursery School to reduce waste and to help combat food poverty. The scheme has been set up with FareShare Hull & Humber, which redistributes surplus food from the food industry to more than 120 organisations throughout the region. Hornsea Nursery School in conjunction with the Hornsea Children’s Centre, had already started a successful community cooking group which uses food donated by FareShare that would otherwise have been wasted. The group takes place at the nursery school every Friday morning with all parents welcome to come and cook a meal and take it home to feed their family. However, the nursery school decided to take this a step further and after meeting with their local FareShare representative set up an ethical and eco pantry. Mrs Kim Dallimore, from the nursey school explained: “We wanted to help support the local community and support those that need it through tricky times.” The pantry receives a delivery on a Thursday morning with certain items available for the school to order and fresh items are received that would otherwise have finished up at landfill. “The only eligibility to use the pantry is that you are a parent of a child attending either the Hornsea Nursery School, or a community group help at the nursery school or attend the Hornsea children’s centre,” said Mrs Dallimore. The membership is £5 per year which also entitles parents to seven free items of their choice on their first week. After this the fee is £2 per week for those wishing to use the pantry. This allows participants to choose seven items for that week but if anyone who doesn’t want to use it simply doesn’t pay for that week. On offer in the pantry as well as fresh fruit and vegetables is pet food, baby milk, tinned food, wash powder and
some frozen food such as bread. The pantry has now been open a few weeks and Mrs Dallimore said: “Already we have a lot of members signed up able to start benefiting from the pantry. Two parents have volunteered to help run the pantry which has meant we can increase the opening times from two to four times per week.” The pantry is unable to send home fresh dairy and meat so these are frozen and then used within the community cooking class. The membership fees go back into the fee paid to FareShare to support the service.
One of the parents who has volunteered to help with the pantry is Beth Cerutti who said: “I think it’s fantastic, which is why I volunteered to staff one of the opening slots. I have family who work within supermarkets and the food waste stories are awful. This scheme helps people with their budget and the range of food is unbelievable, including fresh food. The community cooking group enables you to learn to cook a cheap and easy family meal which you can take home along with the recipe and is great for all abilities as well as the social aspect of cooking together.”
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