Recognition for tackling food poverty

The Dusty Forge centre in Ely, Cardiff

The Dusty Forge centre in Ely, Cardiff

A Wales ‘food pantry’ project is bringing fresh produce to low income families thanks to a partnership that exploited Cardiff University expertise.

Cardiff Business School and Food Cardiff teamed up to develop a way of allowing people in food poverty to access healthy and affordable fresh food.

Pearl Costello, from Food Cardiff , said: “This is a long-term, sustainable way of tackling food poverty in Cardiff’s most deprived suburb. As a membership club, Your Local Pantry eliminates the social stigma of give-away food and provides a financially sustainable way of bringing fresh produce to local communities. In the first six months of running the Dusty Forge Pantry, members have collectively saved an estimated 25,000 on their food bill - and we expect this to rise to around 75,000 annually as membership increases.”

Community support coordinator Sam Froud-Powell, who project manages the pantry, said: “I thought it would be perfect for Ely because there are lots of families who are in food poverty and are struggling to afford healthy food and have decreasing incomes but what I like about the project is it’s not about having a charity relationship with people but about engaging with the community about food and tackling real issues about food.”

Dr Yingli Wang , Cardiff University Business School, said: “The pantry now has over 200 members with many on the waiting list and has produced tangible outputs including saving costs of 700 per year per member, which can be replicated and scaled across Wales. Owing to increased supply chain efficiencies, the pantry also stops 12,000kg of food waste from going to landfill each year and a reduction in CO2 emissions of 7.5tonnes per year.”

The Your Local Pantry Community Shop at the Dusty Forge is supported by Church Action on Poverty , the Food Cardiff Network , Food Power and the National Lottery Community Fund (Awards for All).

Dr Wang and Cardiff Business School continue to work with Food Cardiff with the aim of establishing at least ten pantries across Wales by 2023.

The project brings academic benefits to Cardiff Business School. Lessons learned from the scaleup process will make a valuable contribution to the disciplines of management, operation and supply chain management, and entrepreneurial studies.

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