The Community Pantry in Hart

How many places do you know that you can spend £5 and receive over £20 worth of shopping?


That’s exactly the kind of support available for anybody with financial struggles at The Community Pantry, located at Yateley Industries.

The pantry, which opened in March 2021, was a joint operation between Hart District Council, Yateley Industries and St Edward after identifying a need in the area, and has provided an invaluable service to local residents since.


CommunityAd caught up with Sam Peplow, CEO at Yateley Industries, to find out a little bit more about the pantry and how local residents can get involved.

Sam told us: “The food bank has been absolutely fantastic, but they’ve been overrun with requests and The Community Pantry is a different model that can provide a different support to the community.

“What I always say is you get more for less – it is to help people who are struggling financially and it’s all done on a trust basis.

“The difference between us and food bank is it’s like a shop when they come to us, people pay a £5 membership fee for every week they attend. For that £5 a week, they have a choice of red and blue items; they get to choose 10 red items which are generally cupboard items, and two blue items – which are normally
frozen food, meat, whole chickens, pizzas for example.

“On top of that they get fresh fruit and vegetables, enough to last for a week, and salad items, which all vary every week.

“We have also linked with The Hygiene Bank to provide cleaning and hygiene items – washing up liquid, cleaning spray, as well as nappies, deodorant, toothpaste etc – up to four items off there free of charge every week.

“We used to say the goods value when we started was around £15 for their £5, but more recently it has gone up to at least £20 worth – depending on how customers shop. One thing we do say is – we aren’t a supermarket, they can’t come in with a shopping list and say ‘this is what we want’ because it all depends.”


The Community Pantry has had over 560 visits so far, usually supporting around 35-40 people a week and are also working with the council on how to adapt and provide not just food but support to the local area.


Cllr Stuart Bailey, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Hart District Council, said: “We’re delighted that The Community Pantry is having such a positive impact on the local community. This initiative aims to support local families who may be struggling and is one of a range of projects we are actively involved in to promote the wellbeing of our community. My thanks to Yateley Industries and their volunteers for managing this vital service.”


If anyone wants to find out more about how to seek help or provide donations to The Community Pantry, please get in touch via [email protected], or visit the Hartley Wintney Parish Council website.

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