Jenny Agutter brings festive cheer to local residents as number going hungry increases by 16%

Jenny Agutter brings festive cheer to local residents as number going hungry increases by 16%

St Giles Trust Patron, Actress Jenny Agutter OBE, met residents of a housing estate in Kensington who are using St Giles Trust’s Pantry to help them access affordable, healthy food during the cost-of-living crisis this week (Tuesday 19 December).  

The visit comes as figures show that people using St Giles Trust’s UK-wide Pantry network who stated that they had not eaten for a day as they could not afford food increased by 16% over the course of 5 months*. 72% of new people using St Giles Trust’s Pantries now answer ‘yes’ to this question.  

Despite residing in one of the UK’s richest boroughs, the West London Pantry residents are confronted by poverty and rising costs, exacerbated by the fact that the local area lacks shops and markets selling affordable produce. The residents who met Jenny described themselves as ‘the original working class” who used to work for the affluent residents in the area.  

People using the Pantry pay a weekly subscription of £3.50 and get to choose their food.  Produce is fresh and sustainably sourced and would otherwise have gone to landfill.  

Beyond providing essential nourishment, the St Giles Trust’s Pantry network extends support through on-site staff like Nicky Green at the West London Pantry, who offers vital information, advice, and assistance to address the root causes of poverty. This includes helping individuals in accessing support for escalating utility costs, managing debts, and providing welfare advice. 

Some of the people using The West London Pantry are elderly residents who either live alone or are caring for other family members. For them, the Pantry provides a place to meet up, have a coffee, chat to their neighbours and feel connected to their local community.  

During the visit, Jenny Agutter discussed recipes and cooking tips with the four ladies she met.  

She says: 

“It was a real pleasure to meet everyone and I was struck by how resilient everyone was in the face of some really challenging situations.  Everyone had a smile on their face when they came into the Pantry and they got a warm welcome off the Co-ordinator Nicky.” 

She continued:  

“St Giles Trust’s Pantry is about more than just food. It provides a lifeline for many people who are at the sharpest end of the cost-of-living crisis and would otherwise be going hungry.  I’m proud to be a Patron of a charity doing such life-changing work.” 

*Figures based on the period June-November 2023.  

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