Everton in the Community’s Blue Base Pantry marks six months of delivery with over 8,000 people accessing the service during this time and 10 tonnes of food saved from landfill.
Hosted weekly at The Blue Base on Salop Street, the pantry provides participants and people living in the Blue Mile with access to discounted food as well as wrap-around support such as advice and guidance on benefits, welfare and housing support and access to a registered GP and wellbeing activities.
The Blue Base Pantry was launched in June 2022 to meet the ever-growing needs of the community caused by the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. It is as an extension of the charity’s Blue Family programme that was delivered during the pandemic to provide vital support assistance to some of the most vulnerable, socially isolated and at-risk members of the community and supported more than 31,000 families and individuals with emergency food parcels, assistance with utilities, mental health support and welfare calls.
The Blue Base Pantry is delivered in partnership with Fans Supporting Foodbanks, St Andrews Community Network and Fareshare and is made possible thanks to the charity’s volunteers who have donated more than 1,000 hours of their time in support of the pantry over the last six months.
The Blue Base Pantry is now the fourth busiest ‘Your Local Pantry’ in the UK outside of London and Birmingham with over 400 active members registered on the system. The Pantry has saved over 10 tonnes of food from landfill which equates to more than 77,000kg of CO2 emissions.
In addition to providing members with access to essential food and toiletries, Everton in the Community also hosts health screening events on Pantry days, giving residents the opportunity to be tested for diabetes, blood pressure and various types of cancer as well as holding a Covid-19 vaccination pop-up. Other services provided through the Pantry include access to a two-day healthy eating cooking workshop, debt management support and signposting families to engage in other EitC activities which are delivered across the Goodison Campus including its Youth Zone, Stay and Play sessions for families with young children, Stand Together sessions for socially isolated adults and access to HAF camps for young people living in the area.
Reflecting on the impact of the Blue Base Pantry to date, EitC Senior Programme Manager Adam Howard said:
“The area surrounding Goodison Park is one of the most socially deprived wards in the UK and we have a duty of care to our community to help them equip them with essential tools to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and the amplified needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic.
“We are proud to have been able to support so many people in need through our Blue Base Pantry, but it brings into sharp relief the crisis that our community is facing and just how many people are struggling. Our work would not be possible without our delivery partners and the dedication of our volunteers who never fail to put a smile on people’s faces at the Pantry each week come rain or shine and help to create a fantastic atmosphere.”
Robbie Daniels from Fans Supporting Foodbanks added:
“We were pleased to bring the mobile pantry to the Blue Base and Walton in partnership with EitC. It is the only constituency in the country with two Premier League football teams in one of the most deprived areas in Europe. The success of the pantry is down in no small part to the wonderful volunteers. With the challenges our service users face now and in the coming months, we will endeavour to do our best to help them deal with the cost-of-living crisis with respect, kindness and good humour.”
For more information on The Blue Base Pantry visit https://www.evertoninthecommunity.org/projects/support/blue-base-pantry/