A scheme to help households struggling with the cost of grocery shopping during lockdown has been extended till January.
In July, Community Gateway launched a seven-week pilot of ‘The Purple Pantry’ – a food shopping membership scheme.
Following the success of the trial and overwhelming feedback from customers, the scheme has been extended until the New Year, so people can get food right up to and over the Christmas period.
During the seven-week pilot, 335 households signed up to become members of the Purple Pantry. As a result, the food outlet had a direct impact on 558 adults and 345 children.
Customers described The Purple Pantry as ‘the best thing to have ever ever happened on Moor Nook’.
One said: “With three kids it is helping me to budget and make my money go further. I couldn’t believe how much choice there was.”
The Purple Pantry is open to all Community Gateway customers, regardless of where they live. In addition, residents living in the Moor Nook local community who are not living in a CGA home are welcome to join.
The housing association works in partnership with FareShare Preston and James Hall & Co to offer tinned, fresh, chilled and frozen food and unlike foodbanks, customers can browse and select products of their own choice from a range of more than a hundred different items.
Membership is not means-tested, and packages are tailored to customers. All items have a points value between 1-5, to provide some context, 25 points provides around £30 to £40 of food.
The Purple Pantry is open from 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday at Moor Nook Community Office, Langden Drive, Preston PR2 6HT.
What do you think of the Purple Pantry? Is there enough support for families who are struggling? Let us know your views in the comments section.