Stockport celebrates 10 years of Your Local Pantry

Your Local Pantry has been celebrating 10 years since the first pantry opened in Stockport.

Your Local Pantry was created by Stockport Homes to help tackle poverty and reduce grocery costs for Stockport residents who are struggling financially, 10 years later a national movement across the UK, proving people with dignity, choice, and hope.

The first store opened in 2013 as Penny Lane Pantry, the first Your Local Pantry in the country.

After Penny Lane, Stockport Homes opened further Your Local Pantries around Stockport: in Brinnington, Bridgehall, Mottram Street, and Woodley, and then in 2017, Pantries went national.

Anna Jones, the Pantries first Operation Officer remembers how it all began, as a small seedling that has grown, blossomed, and spread, carried all over the UK on the winds of kindness and community.

“We noticed a real increase in food bank use at that time, and Stockport Homes was really worried how residents would make ends meet. We started looking into different food schemes. There were lots of different ideas – free food distribution, or a food hall serving meals for instance – but we decided the most impactful thing would be to do a volunteer-led community food store, where people contributed towards it.”

To commemorate 10 years since the first pantry opened, a community event was held, with pantry members, volunteers and members of the community coming together to show their appreciation for what the pantry stands for and to say thank you to all the volunteers who ensure the pantries run smoothly every week.

As part of the celebration, the pantries longest standing volunteer and dedicated staff were recognised who their passion for supporting the local communities.

Your Local Pantry has just celebrated its 100th pantry opening, following a major new partnership with Co-op which will see the Your Local Pantry network triple within three years from 75 to 225 pantries across the UK, with the addition of 150 new pantries, creating almost 650,000 visits by July 2025. The partnership will focus on communities where additional food solutions will make a significant difference to the cost of living.

Pantry Members said:

“The Pantry is a life saver it helped me keep going.”

“It has given me a variety of food that I have not tried before. Things I didn’t know existed.”

“Saves me money to spend on other essential items and helps you experiment. Also helps me socialize and make new friends.”