The first Little Free Pantry in the UK!

Some good news from this corner of Suffolk…..

I’d like to share with you an article hot off the press at the Melton Messenger  – the local parish magazine.  I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly for the internet.  In it, I talk about our open, freely accessible community food project, which we hope will be a sign of love and welcome, as well as practical help, to anyone who wishes to participate by either receiving or giving. Anyone is free to use the pantry, with no questions asked.

It’s such a simple idea, maybe it’s something you, or a community you belong to, could consider?  It might be very welcome in the run-up to Christmas, and in the leaner days that follow. In the article is a link to the Little Free Pantry website, which is full of delightful and helpful things.

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Sharing the Harvest – New Community Food Project Launched!

We’re delighted to tell you that  St Andrew’s new community food project is now up and running!

It’s a Little Free Pantry – a set of shelves in the Church porch which are freely accessible.  Anyone can leave some tins, and anyone can take some.  The ethos of the project is:

“Take what you need, give what you can”.

We are quite excited to be able to announce that we have successfully registered our shelves with the Little Free Pantry movement.  It is now, officially, the first in the UK!  You can find out more about the movement, and see St Andrew’s Melton on the map, at their website: http://mapping.littlefreepantry.org/

Back to the launch….. it was at our Harvest Festival.  The Church was looking beautiful, decked out with orange autumn flowers, and wheat, and apples.  It smelt as good as it looked.  During the first hymn, as we gave thanks for the harvest, we all brought up our gifts of tins and packets and gave them to Rev Paul, who piled them on the altar.  Later in the service, we joined hands to pray a blessing on the shelves, and for all who would use them.  The shelves were stacked with the tins that had been brought.  The surplus will go to the Salvation Army’s food bank.  It felt that we were participating in something very ancient – giving thanks for, and sharing, the Harvest – in a way that was new to us, visibly opening our Harvest Thanksgiving to whole parish.

For we hope that Melton neighbours will want to join in.  It’s a way we can all participate in the generosity of Harvest, whether we are giving, or receiving.    We hope it will be a year-round sign of God’s love in a very practical, daily-bread way – with tins of beans, and soup, and such.  We hope it will help to strengthen the sense of community in Melton. It’s so good that we can keep the Church and its garden open and accessible to the neighbourhood, and we hope this project will be a further sign of welcome, and of the inclusive community we are seeking to build here.
As people are free to take and leave when they like, the stocks may be variable, but we’ll do our best to keep an eye on things and make sure the shelves aren’t empty!

So, why not come along and take a look?  Why not come along and join in?

 

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can change the world — Howard Zinn

 

We have a tradition of sharing produce in the congregation – many people have productive gardens with gluts of tomatoes and apples.  We now have a basket above the shelves where we can extend that sharing to all our neighbours – subject to the vagaries of harvest and weather!

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If you’d like to think some more about Bread, and hunger, you might like to read my Lent post on “I am the bread of life”, here.

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