People who may be struggling to feed themselves and their families are being helped by a new service in Norwich.
The Magdalen Street Pantry run by charity St Giles Trust, officially launched on Tuesday 8 August, is helping families in the city access affordable, healthy, nutritious food and benefit from advice and guidance services to address underlying issues such as debt and unemployment. These typically are factors which may be trapping people in poverty.
It is part of a UK-wide network of Pantries run by St Giles Trust who help people held back by a range of disadvantages positively progress their lives through support and services. The cost-of-living crisis is having a disproportionate effect on people who were already experiencing adversity and hardship – the Magdalen Street Pantry aims to help redress this.
For a weekly subscription of £3.50, people using the Magdalen Street Pantry can choose their food in the same way they would in any supermarket shop. The produce includes healthy choices such as fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals and diary – all items which many people are struggling to access during a time of cost increases for essentials.
Whilst at the Magdalen Street Pantry, people benefit from advice and support from specially trained on-site staff, some of whom have direct experience of the issues people using the Pantry are currently going through.
The food at the Magdalen Street Pantry is high quality surplus food which would have otherwise gone to landfill.
The Pantry model provided by St Giles Trust has been endorsed by psychologist, author and nutritionist Kimberley Wilson, author of Unprocessed and co-presenter of Radio 4’s Made of Stronger Stuff. She says:
“It is important to understand that food poverty affects more than just our physical health – it is also linked to poorer psychological outcomes in adults and children. Access to a healthy diet should be available to everyone, regardless of income. Good nutrition positively impacts on mental health, wellbeing and people’s levels of motivation. St Giles Trust’s Pantry network provides a practical, lasting solution.”
The Magdalen Street Pantry is open 4 days a week, from 1pm to 4pm on Mondays and from 10am to 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – by appointment only.
St Giles Trust has been providing services and support in the East of England since 2006, initially helping people rebuild their lives on release from prison. The work has expanded since this time to include training people with first-hand experience of disadvantage to become qualified advice and guidance professionals, specialist support helping women positively progress their lives and work with children and young people to prevent child criminal exploitation.