Llanharan Pantry is a community pantry located in Llanharan within Rhonndda Cynon Taff and runs out of the Bryncae Community Centre. Janine started the pantry at the end of January 2021 so it has only been operating for a short while. The pantry is open every Saturday and gives members of the community an opportunity to come and select several items from a range of fresh and dried foods, toiletries, cleaning supplies. In exchange they can offer a small donation if they are able to, but it is not required.
“By asking for a donation towards the food I think it takes away some of the stigma around using a food bank which some people have”
The pantry is open to anyone in the community who needs it and there is no means testing or requirements to be able to access it.
“Everybody can come and take what they need and this system is working really well for us”
Llanharan Pantry get a weekly delivery of 50 kilos of food from FareShare Cymru. They mainly receive tinned and dry food at the moment but have recently received some vegetables. The pantry also collects surplus from co op, an egg supplier, greggs and tesco. The community has also offered a lot of donations.
The foods that are particularly popular include eggs, bread, fruit, noodles and squash (cordial).
“I can never get enough eggs and will always go out and buy some if we don’t get any in”
Although the pantry has only been open a short while it seems to be having a positive effect on people’s lives.
“People definitely seem to be more positive now that they have started using the pantry. They are very grateful that they have got access to something like this. It is has been really positive for the community”
In addition to providing people with necessary supplies the pantry also provides a little opportunity for some social interaction as people get an opportunity to have a little chat and some normal conversation in these difficult times!
Llanharan Pantry save money by being partnered with FareShare which they spend in supplementing the pantry with additional items.
“The amount of food I get from FareShare is brilliant. I would not be able to get the same quantity of stuff for £15 elsewhere.”
In the future Llanharan Pantry has got plans to open a baby bank which would run alongside the pantry. This would provide supplies such as baby food and nappies. Janine is also looking into supplying reusable sanitary pads as the sanitary products are really popular and always go every week. There is also plans to run a school uniform swap shop which would really help families in the community.
We are very excited to have helped Llanharan Pantry get up and running and are looking forward to seeing the project grow!