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First of its kind food poverty scheme to open in Aberdeen

Community worker Claire Whyte is hoping the pantry will prove popular
Community worker Claire Whyte is hoping the pantry will prove popular

A special pantry set up to give families living in poverty a choice of food will be the first to open in Scotland next week.

Volunteers will open Your Woodside Pantry in Woodside selling discounted products to residents struggling financially in Aberdeen.

Rather than relying on food parcels, members will pay a £3 joining fee then spend £2.50 per week to purchase 10 items.

With growing numbers struggling to make ends meet turning to food banks for support, it is hoped the new scheme will offer them more dignity and a choice of products.

Record-breaking rise in people queuing up for emergency supplies at Aberdeen foodbank

The scheme will be operated by Fersands and Fountain Community Project in partnership with Cfine and FareShare.

Community worker Claire Whyte is hopeful that the scheme’s motto of offering a “hand up, not a hand out” will encourage more people to seek help if they need it.

“People are becoming more dependent on food banks but sometimes we are not reaching people,” she said.

“Some feel there’s a stigma about going to one.

“And other times people have to pick items they like from food parcels, but this will let them shop just for the things they want.”

Mrs White added: “We’ll have nappies, fish, meat, fruit and veg – it should have everything a supermarket can provide, just on a smaller level.

“People will be getting up to £80 of groceries for just £10 a month.

“We’re hoping this will take a bit of the pressure off their finances and let them stretch their money further.”

Shock figures show reliance on foodbanks in Aberdeen

The pantry will open with room for an initial 30 members, but this number is expected to grow once staff get a fuller understanding of the demand for the service.

And if it proves successful, Cfine has plans to roll out a network of similar shops across the city over the coming years.

A trial launch day will be held at Woodside Marquis Centre, Aberdeen from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, December 20.


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