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Town Council To Consider Introducing A Low-Cost Community Food Pantry

26th July 2020 | By Peter Chapman

Burgess Hill Town Council are to discuss setting up a Community Food Pantry in the town centre when the Strategic Development Key Area Group meet on Monday evening (27th July)

The council seek to run a 'No Cupbard Empty' project and have indentified becoming a franchisee of 'Your Local Pantry' to meet the aim of eradicating food insecurity in Burgess Hill.

In brief, families would pay a weekly subscription of £4 to be able to pick from a selection of food that the pantry has to offer.

The food is supplied by the charity Fareshare Sussex - who fight hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities.

The proposal is for the pantry to be located in the former William Hill Interiors unit next to New Look at the Martlets Shopping Centre as part of the 'Trading Spaces' initative.

First Year Franchise Fee £2,000 (£500 in future years)
Purchase of chillers/freezers £5,000
Fareshare annual fee for provision of food £2,250

It's proposed that Burgess Hill Town Council award a grant of £10,000 to cover the set-up costs. The council had set aside various funds for Covid-19, Trading Spaces and Bridge The Gap, from which the £10k can be taken.

The pantry can have a maximum of 150 members. This could generate an income of around £30k per year. This would cover the yearly franchise fee (£500), food supply (£2,250), premises rent (£5k) and the cost of part-time staff (£21k).

Who Will Run It?
The project will be run by a CIO (charitable incorporated organisation) called ' the Burgess Hill Community Cupboard CIO' they will be responsible for meeting all on-going costs along with the recruitment of staff and volunteers. As a charity, they will be able to apply for a variety of grants and receive discounts on rates.

The full background paper on the Burgess Hill Community Cupboard can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/3jIMWwY (413kb .pdf)

A brochure from 'My Local Pantry' on how the service works and what types of foods could be available can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/3hEvjg8 (1.25mb .pdf)

Take Part In The Discussions
You can speak during the open forum portion of Monday's council meeting (26th July) and remain in the Zoom meeting to observe the rest of the meeting in which the Food Pantry will be discussed.

The meeting number and password will be uploaded to the BHTC website shortly before 7pm here:

Spread the word! Burgess Hil Town Council may be introducing a food pantry in the town.

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What do you think of the proposal to introduce a food pantry in Burgess Hill?

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