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Little Pantry to help bring village community together through food

PUBLISHED: 18:00 04 December 2019

Andrea Skevington at the Little Pantry in St Andrew's Church, Melton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Andrea Skevington at the Little Pantry in St Andrew's Church, Melton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Churches have played an important role in bringing communities together for hundreds of years, serving as a point of contact for local people.

Andrea Skevington hopes that the pantry will help bring the village together  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNAndrea Skevington hopes that the pantry will help bring the village together Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Now a new project at a Suffolk church is hoping that the community will come together once more through its new food sharing scheme.

St Andrew's Church in Melton is the first church in the UK to set up its own Little Free Pantry.

The Little Free Pantry movement started in the USA in 2016 and aims to help neighbours get together to meet neighbourhood needs.

Each pantry stocks a range of supplies for people to take and encourages others to give back if they can.

Revd Paul Hambling and Andrea Skevington at the Little Pantry in St Andrew's Church in Melton  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRevd Paul Hambling and Andrea Skevington at the Little Pantry in St Andrew's Church in Melton Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There are now hundreds of little pantries across America but Melton is the only location in the UK.

"I came across it in America and thought it was a lovely idea, " said Andrea Skevington, co-creator of the Melton Little Pantry.

"My friend was on the Melton parochial church council so decided to put together a paper to see whether people thought it was a good idea."

The idea was approved and the pantry was installed in the church.

Mrs Skevington said that it was important in a village like Melton for people to be able to come together.

"Melton has a lot of housing. People can feel disassociated from the community in the new houses," said Mrs Skevington.

"With this we can build a sense of community and connections.

"We want to make people feel like they can be part of the village."

Mrs Skevington hopes that people will feel able to take what they may need without feeling embarrassed and will be able to speak with other members of the community So far reaction to the pantry has been very positive.

"We had no idea what the reaction would be like," said Mrs Skevington.

"People do seem to be talking about it."

As well as helping to bring their community together those behind the St Andrew's Little Pantry hope that it will become popular elsewhere.

"We hope they spring up everywhere," said Mrs Skevington.

You can find out more information about the Little Pantry online.

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