The Glenholt Community Larder first opened its doors, within St Anne’s Church, on Saturday the 30th of January to about 21 people. Operating twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays for an hour and a half GCL is now feeding nearly a hundred people a week. Its mission is both to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to local people and to reduce the amount of food going to landfill or the incinerator. Karen Woods, runs the project along with five volunteers and says there’s no typical recipient;
“There’s a Grandmum that comes in to get food for her daughter and grandchildren; there’s a mum who is looking after someone who has been in hospital and there are pensioners coming in to get a little bit extra.”
Community larders are just part of the fifty different food aid projects now operating across Plymouth: a figure that has doubled in the last year. Community larders are informal: there is no voucher required; no identification needed, or personal details taken. People can turn up; fill up a bag with what they chose and leave. As Karen says there are no questions asked;
“The idea is that people turn up and don’t feel embarrassed.”
In the first week in January the GCL helped to feed 133 people now they are supporting nearly 100 households, providing about three quarters of a tonne of food a week and feeding more than 230 individuals. But what has shocked Karen more than anything is the number of people already waiting at the church before they have even opened;
“We don’t open until 11 and they’re already queueing at the door at ten o’clock. To be there an hour before we open, well, you need it don’t you?”
The GCL is open from 11.00 – 12.30 on Wednesdays and Saturdays at St Anne’s Church. And, as Karen says, “will carry on for as long as people need us”.
Photo credit: Karen Woods, Glenholt Community Larder.