The Ruddington Pantry which welcomes residents across Rushcliffe has been supported by a Reach Rushcliffe grant, assisting their efforts to reduce food waste, food mileage and support the local community.
The project has become increasingly popular as it reaches out to provide surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away, close to sell by date products and local produce reducing food miles.
It also provides an inclusive social space that brings people from the local community together, further tackling social isolation and loneliness within the Borough.
Rushcliffe Borough Council is now pleased to further support the voluntary efforts of those who run the group with the Reach Rushcliffe funding designed to assist projects who help those who are vulnerable, socially isolated or lonely.
Anyone is welcome and can access the Ruddington Pantry for free which takes place every Sunday from 4pm to 4.30pm and Wednesday from 12.30pm to 1pm at St. Peter’s Room in the village, NG11 6HD and also hosts a Wednesday morning coffee club for over 55s between 10am and midday.
The group collect donations each week from their local Co-op, Foodshare, local businesses and allotments and save the food from going to waste by offering it to local residents and donations from individuals are also accepted.
Since its inception in April 2022, it has saved over 5.3 tonnes of food that would otherwise end up in landfill sites.
The new funding enabled organisers Carol Jaggers and Gwen Eyre to purchase a large chest freezer which is vital for increasing the amount of food that can be frozen and distributed at the sessions.
Rushcliffe Borough Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities and Climate Change Cllr Abby Brennan met the co-ordinators at the Pantry on January 11 to see how the Pantry is making a difference to local residents.
She said: “Through our Reach Rushcliffe funding we’re proud to support this inclusive project which brings people together, reduces food waste and encourages residents to receive locally grown produce.
“A lot of time and work goes into running the Pantry twice a week and Carol, Gwen and all the volunteers do an excellent job ensuring it runs smoothly.
“They have been recognised for their fantastic work and were shortlisted for the Health and Wellbeing Award at our Celebrating Rushcliffe Awards with Great Northern Group 2022.”
Carol added: “The Pantry started about 10 months ago and it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in that amount of time.
“We have about 40 people that come to each open day on Sundays and Wednesdays which shows the need for something like this in our community. Our data shows that we are attracting residents as young as 18 through to people in their late 70s.
“Thank you to our generous donators and wonderful
volunteers for helping us run the Pantry, Gwen and I couldn’t do it without them.
“We welcome all residents to come along to the pantry and we encourage you to come and help us take the food that would otherwise go to waste.”
Any organisations also looking to reduce social isolation in their part of Rushcliffe can apply for funding through Reach Rushcliffe. To find out more visit www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/reachrushcliffe