Along the way we have met some amazing people from all corners of the world - meet some of them here:
Faithful, the Entrepreneur
Having been provided with a stove, Faithful made herself an oven from discarded biscuits tins which she had seen being crafted from her time in the city. She now makes pies to sell at market (in batches of 100) by using her fuel-efficient stove to heat her oven. She now provides fully for all of her young family's needs.
Vicki, the Volunteer
Vicki came to us from sheltered housing having found herself isolated in a new town. She came to eat regularly with us, enjoying and getting used to a new way of eating, using surplus food supplement by fresh local produce. Through enjoying a regular meal, Vicki gained confidence and independence. Since moving on she has now set up her own healthy lifestyle business and offers her support to us as a volunteer.
Jim and Cathy, the Carers
Cathy's husband has dementia, and coming to the cooking sessions gave her a new lease of life, being able to meet other people similar to her and reengaging with fresh food in the kitchen, and learning skills that she continues to use to support her husband at home. Jim's wife also has dementia. Jim, an ex naval officer, has now found himself to be the main carer for his wife and, on occasions, to his young grandchildren. Jim came to cooking sessions held by The Pantry Partnership, through the Alzheimer's society, and is now ably cooking in the kitchen, juggling dumplings and enjoying his new found skills and the delights that he creates for his family from his kitchen.
And it all Started.....back in 2011...
With a dream that a passion for cooking and reducing waste could be channelled into helping others with less access finances to enable them to make more from less. Starting by holding 'next to nothing' Pantry Parties to raise some initial funds we supported a large community project in Ghana to help those that waste nothing to cook more efficiently and cut down less trees in doing so. With the momentum behind that we teamed up with our lovely friends at Foodcycle HQ and created a Salisbury first - a community hub using food destined for landfill to create meals for people in our community. From here we grew our public events to fund our community initiatives and started running 'next to nothing' cooking workshops to support those identified to us by our partners in local charities and by the wonderful Trussell Trust, with whom we also created and ran in partnership, their Eat Well Spend Less cooking programmes. We proudly won the 2014 Wiltshire Healthy Eating Award for adults and children following our work with The Alzheimer's Society. In 2015 we also secured our plot of land and started to run our Surplus Supper Clubs to broaden our reach in our community. As time goes on our work continues, our plot flourishes and our team provide the energy and enthusiasm to keep on growing. Follow us on facebook and twitter to see what we are up to today.
We've also had huge amounts of compliments along the way - here's what some of our customers have said:
"I always feel so welcome here, I would like to thank the Pantry team for their hard work and dedication, it's wonderful to think how they create these delicious meals from next to nothing - it's like a large scale ready steady cook!" (Community meal)
"a gem of a place to find amidst a town of fast food and takeaway restaurants" ( Friday cafe)
"Not only did I learn new ways to cook but I also have never cooked with a group of friends before, it was such fun, I will definitely do it again... And all to help other people'" (Pantry Party)
"This is the only thing that he gets up for in the mornings, he loves coming here and loves that at last he feels he has a purpose and place in life - thank you" (Workshops now volunteering)
"the dancers at your Indian Feast were fabulous, bringing a little bit of culture and joy to Salisbury. The street food was AMAZING!" ( Snack Shack - Indian)