There are efforts to alleviate food insecurity, here’s a guide to just a few:
Community Fridges and Larders – Usually open to anyone in the community, fridges and larders offer a limited selection of food that can be taken for free. This could be fresh or dried, but is usually donated locally. These are often unstaffed, but monitored by volunteers, and can be located anywhere.
Food Pantry – Food pantries tend to be members-only, and often charge small amounts for their food – either per item or per visit – to contribute to the cost of purchasing stock. They are bigger than a community fridge and tend to offer a greater choice of products, sometimes buying in stock and taking advantage of larger food distribution networks, such as FareShare or HiS Church. They may also make up emergency food parcels. They are staffed, primarily by volunteers, and tend to be located in villages and small towns.
Community Supermarket – Like a food pantry, community supermarkets have a membership system that allows customers to buy food at heavily discounted rates. They also tend to buy in more food, as well as personal and household hygiene items and they also take advantage of food redistribution networks. Community Supermarkets often deliver other services, such as hot meals, cookery classes or personalised advice on tackling an individual’s food insecurity and linking into wider support services. They may also make up emergency food parcels. They are staffed, primarily by volunteers but sometimes have one or two paid members of staff, and are usually located in more built-up areas, like large housing estates or towns.