The village community pantry project aims to fight food waste


A brand new community pantry aims to reduce food waste in a village in Renfrewshire.

The Lochwinnoch Food Committee was set up during last year’s lockdown to support families and those in need during the pandemic.

Since then, hardworking volunteers have continued to provide food packages and have now partnered with local produce producers to create the community pantry.

Tori Bell, Project Manager for the Local Energy Action Plan (LEAP), said: “We are trying to reduce food waste and our food supply is either produced locally or through programs that distribute food from local communities. supermarkets that are otherwise landfilled. .

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“Our community pantry is an evolution of the food package system that the Lochwinnoch Food Committee has operated since the start of the pandemic.

“We have moved away from this emergency provision and have now opened this walk-in service. The main difference is that it is for everyone, not just those who face food insecurity.

“It’s really important that we reach out to more groups of people who aren’t necessarily struggling with affordability issues.

“Rather than depriving someone, you would help them by taking some of this food. And help the planet too because if it is not eaten it will go to the landfill.

“A third of all food produced in the world goes into the trash, which is a shocking statistic. “

Alan Bissett from Lochwinnoch Food Committee and Tori Bell, Project Officer for LEAP

Much of the fresh produce is donated by the nearby Lochwinnoch Community Gardens and the Renfrewshire Council had supported the group with a subscription to Fairshare, which provides junk food in supermarkets.

However, with that ending in a few months, the committee wants to establish a new supply from other supermarkets and programs.

Tori added, “We are very grateful to all of our volunteers for their help, it has been a great help and many people have benefited so far.

“We are always looking for more volunteers, so if anyone wants to get involved, even on a small or one-off basis, we would love to hear from them.

“We will accept donations of any food that community members have grown, or perhaps purchased for themselves but are now unable to eat on time – but we would like to discourage people from buying food specifically. to donate.

“We are also grateful to the Lochwinnoch Community Development Trust for allowing us to use their Portacabin. “

The Lochwinnoch Food Committee is part of LEAP and there are plans to expand in the future to include a community refrigerator, a permanent location and a seed library.

The community pantry is currently at Lochhead Gardens in the village.

It is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To learn more about the Community Larder and the Lochwinnoch Food Committee, visit or email [email protected]

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