Co-op and Your Local Pantry launch major partnership to support communities in cost of living crisis - Middleton Your Local Pantry (1)

Source: Co-op

Your Local Pantry is estimated to save subscribers an average of £1,000 a year each on their shopping bills

Co-op has partnered with Your Local Pantry to ease the strain on household finances during the cost of living crisis.

The partnership will see Co-op members fund an expansion programme of Your Local Pantry, tripling its network from 75 to 225 pantries across the UK over the next three years.

The pantries act similarly to an ordinary store, stocking a wide range of food including fresh fruit & veg, frozen and chilled food, meat and dairy products, and long-life tinned and packaged food.

To gain access to the goods, Your Local Pantry members pay a subscription fee, ranging from £3.50 to £6.50 per week depending on location, which will allow them to choose groceries that are worth “many times more”.

Anyone can become a member of Your Local Pantry. It is estimated to save subscribers an average of £1,000 a year each on their shopping bills. The partnership aims to help 32,000 households within three years, with a focus on communities where additional food solutions will make a significant difference to the cost of living, the retailer said.

“Everybody should have access to good food, and this innovative new partnership with Your Local Pantry complements our existing initiatives to provide dignified long-term solutions to food insecurity and the cost of living,” said Co-op director of community & membership Rebecca Birkbeck.

“Pantries are all about dignity, choice and hope. Each one operates as a member-led neighbourhood hub, often serving as a springboard to other community initiatives, opportunities and ideas.

“Things are tough for many of us at the moment and we are proud that pantries will be there to support people and their local communities in dealing with the challenges that are thrown at them. It feels like a real step in the right direction to make the world that little bit fairer.”

Your Local Pantry network development co-ordinator James Henderson added: “Pantries have enabled tens of thousands of people around the UK to strengthen their community and loosen the grip of high prices.

“Pantries reduce isolation, foster community and friendships, improve health and pre-empt poverty, and this exciting new partnership with Co-op will enable thousands more people to join and enjoy pantries.”