22 April 2024

End of an era as The Pantry Partnership is to close

Salisbury-based food surplus social enterprise, The Pantry Partnership, is to wind down its operations after ten successful years working across the local community.

The team behind The Pantry Partnership CIC (Community Interest Company) – led by founder Fiona Ollerhead – have achieved a huge amount during their time, using around nine tonnes of surplus food, which would otherwise have been destroyed, to provide more than 10,000 meals for local people.

Fiona Ollerhead comments: “We are immensely proud of everything the team has achieved in Salisbury through The Pantry Partnership, most of all we’re incredibly grateful to each and every one of our volunteers and partners, without whom The Pantry Partnership would not have been such a fantastic success story. They’ve shaped our journey from day one and their contributions have sparked real social change in our communities.

“We’re now seeking to maximise the positive legacy of The Pantry Partnership, working with our volunteers and partners to make sure our work is taken forward for the benefit of the people of Salisbury. As part of that socially and environmentally responsible exit strategy, we will be in discussion with our contacts so that surplus food can continue to be distributed to local people in need.

The Pantry Partnership team has:

• used all of its surplus collections and donations to benefit communities in and around Salisbury;
• delivered workshops and demonstrations to over 300 people in the local area;
• cooked up communal meals for around 7,000 people;
• distributed more than 4,000 frozen handmade surplus meals;
• raised awareness of food being wasted by giving presentations and attending public, charity and social events;
• made hundreds of jars of jams and pickles and thousands of scones and cakes to accompany them;
• benefited from around 40,000 hours of time from 80 different volunteers, beavering away in the kitchen and behind the scenes;
• built strong and valued partnerships with local organisations to create a lasting legacy for the community; and
• refurbished the old bowling club building in Victoria Park, turning it into a thriving community base.

The team at the Pantry Partnership are keen to express their thanks for all the donations, volunteer hours, enthusiasm and passion they have received over the last decade, as well as the support from Salisbury City Council’s Councillors and the Town Clerk.

“It’s the end of an era, and we are a bit sad to shut up shop, but we know this is the right thing to do to ensure a lasting legacy in the City,” adds Fiona Ollerhead.

“We’ve worked hard for many years, achieved so much, met some fascinating people, and had a lot of fun along the way too.

There was a low level of awareness about surplus food when we started out, and we believe we’ve played a key role in raising awareness of food as a force for good in communities up and down the country.

With that in mind, it’s now time to hand over the baton to other organisations. We will still be here for a while, engineering a handover in whatever form that may take, and we wish our successors – whoever they may be – lots of luck for the future. Thanks for having us!”

Written by
Andy Munns
View all articles
Written by Andy Munns