The Biddenden Take Away Pantry

The Biddenden Take Away Pantry began in September of 2022 to combat the looming cost of living crisis and its impact on our local community.

 

Elizabeth Shapiro, one of the faces behind the pantry, spoke to us about how it all started and some of the ways in which the community can support: “We were concerned that members of our village might find themselves in need, some perhaps for the first time, as the months became colder and heating bills increased. We are aware that some food distribution services might be tricky to navigate and wanted to provide for our neighbours in a way that was easy to access and preserved their privacy and dignity. Our goal was to provide basic food and toiletries, no questions asked, to anyone who had a need.

“We started by asking for donations from the local community, and began leaving items of food and basic toiletries on a table in the All Saints Church foyer. This way, if someone needed food and did not want to make themselves known, they could simply help themselves in passing.

“We also provided more items on a larger table within the church during hours when the community library was open. This way, if you were in need but also wanted to borrow a book, have a cup of tea, or simply have a chat with your neighbours or the vicar, you were more than welcome to visit then.”

 

The Pantry has since gone from strength to strength and, in addition to local donations of food, they have been lucky enough to be awarded grants from the Kent Community Fund and Biddenden Tractorfest, among others. These grants have subsequently allowed the Pantry to purchase much needed items in bulk and fill their shelves when the village’s need has outstripped their supply.

 

The Take Away Pantry are always looking for donations of food or basic toiletries; if you have any you would like to give, you are welcome to leave them by the table in the foyer or during their opening hours, 10am-12pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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