Rochdale Pioneers Museum’s Pioneer Pantry to become bigger and better in 2020

Date published: 17 October 2019

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum’s Pioneer Pantry scheme is set to become bigger and better in 2020, thanks to backing from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.

The Pioneer Pantry opened in December 2018, a pop-in shop open on Friday afternoons for local residents living in poverty, stocking a range of store cupboard essentials along with fresh products and toiletries.

Unlike a regular shop, the Pantry is member-owned and run solely by volunteers. Membership is just £1, and £2.50 thereafter when users visit the Pantry.

Each item is assigned a colour grading correlating to the maximum quantity of a good allowed per person.

A person can have up to four yellow items, which are fresh products provided by Foodshare, three green products, which include tinned vegetables, beans and fish, two red, such as dried pasta and rice, and one blue, such as tea or coffee, and toiletries.

The Pantry will also stock free sanitary packs, provided by The Crimson Wave and contraception packs from the LGBT Foundation.

Phillip Worthington, RBH Community Partnership Manager, said: “RBH has successfully supported the launch of pantry projects in Kirkholt and in Smallbridge.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Co-operative Heritage Trust to help make their pantry at the Pioneers Museum bigger and better, which will enable more residents in Rochdale town centre to benefit from this fantastic scheme.”

Over the last 18 months, the Rochdale Pioneers Museum has worked closely with Rochdale agencies and communities to develop a sustainable model for people to access food affordably.

Being member-owned means that users are at the core of decision making for how any profits are spent, decided once a quarter.

Cat Jessop, Community Engagement Officer for the Co-operative Heritage Trust, said: “We host the Pioneer Pantry here at Rochdale Pioneers Museum every Friday afternoon 12-3pm.

“You may work with people who would benefit from using the Pantry, if you'd like me to come and chat to a group/ host a stall at your centre I'd be more than happy to do so.

“2020 promises to be an exciting year for the Pantry as we join forces with RBH to make it bigger and better than ever before.”

For more information, posters, or to book a visit, please contact Cat Jessop:

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