Second zero waste food pantry opens in Port Glasgow

Inverclyde’s Zero Waste Community Food Pantry is going from strength to strength and Inverclyde Community Development Trust are delighted to officially open the Port Glasgow Pantry in our Community Regeneration Centre at 7 ½ John Wood Street, Port Glasgow.

The Trust’s Chairperson, Duncan McNeil cut the ribbon on the new Pantry and welcomed everyone to the event and the Operations Manager, Ross Ahlfeld explained the background to the Pantry model and how membership has grown since 2020 to over 1,100 members across Inverclyde. Ross further explained how the Pantry model works and the additional supports available to Pantry members including welfare benefits advice and support via Mind Mosaic. The Pantry model is based on collaboration across a wide range of local partners and is supported by a number of hard-working volunteers.

Ross said: "Our main funders are Inverclyde Council and the Lottery’s Community Fund but we also receive lots of help from the Salvation Army in Port Glasgow, Amazon Gourock, River Clyde Home’s Homefix team who helped us get the Pantry set up. HSCP Health Improvement team have also helped us and we received guidance and support from both CVS and the council's CLD service. We’ve even been getting fresh veg from the team at The Inverclyde Shed, so it’s a real community effort!’ But the most important people are the volunteer and members, without them the pantry would not exist."

Port Glasgow zero waste food pantry official opening
Port Glasgow zero waste food pantry official opening 

The Pantry model is supported by Fareshare who take good quality, nutritious surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to more than 10,500 frontline charities and community groups across the UK. If you become a member, you make a weekly payment of £2.50 and this allows a selection of food and toiletries of up to 8-10 items to the value of £15.

Invited guests were shown around the Pantry highlighting what is on offer and the positive experience of members when they do their weekly shop supported by a team of staff and volunteers.  

The Pantry model offers choice and allows members to participate in the Pantry project to support the zero waste objectives and stop food going to landfill.

Angela Spence, Interim Manager at The Trust issued a vote of thanks to the supporting organisations, volunteers and staff who have helped with funding and organisation of the Pantry. said “I am very proud of this project which is making a difference in the journey towards net zero within Inverclyde and supporting individuals and families at a time when the cost of living is impacting on household income for everyone.”

Leader of Inverclyde Council, Councillor Stephen McCabe, who signed up to become the latest pantry member, said: “It’s incredible to see the growth and development of the Inverclyde zero waste pantry model since I attended the opening of the first pantry in Grieve Road 19 months ago.

Port Glasgow zero waste food pantry official opening

“This new facility in the heart of Port Glasgow Town Centre makes it easier for residents to the east of Inverclyde to access this wonderful service which helps reduce food waste while providing members with high-quality produce at low prices – something which is even more valuable in the current climate with the cost of living crisis.

“With continued support from the council/HSCP and various partner organisations, The Pantry has also evolved and now helps members access additional support services dealing with things like welfare and benefits and mental health.

“Well done to all the staff and volunteers from The Trust on the opening of this second pantry and I wish them continued success.”

The Trust always welcomes new members at their Grieve Road and Port Glasgow Pantries. Anyone interested should attend on the opening days which are Grieve Road, 10am until 3pm on a Saturday and Monday. Port Glasgow is open from 10am until 3pm on Mondays and 1pm until 6.30pm on a Friday.