What do our partners do?
Our community larders are about so much more than food – and so are our partners. So, for every organisation that helps keep our larders stocked, there are others who help us fit out our community larders, take our leftover food, manage waste and provide health, financial and wellbeing services within our branches. Community Larders really enhance the wonderful work our partners do in their local communities. A place to engage locally and really make a difference “Food is Community, not just Consumption”.
Those relationships are genuine partnerships, with clear benefits to us and the people we support, but also to our partners.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, SOFEA provides food for 48 weeks per year. A Member pays for 48-week membership, spread over 12 months for a reduced cost.
During a Community Larder, food sent by SOFEA is for Community Larder Members only. However any fresh produce left at the end of a session may be offered to volunteers. Some Larders choose to give left over fresh food to organisations such as food banks. This is permitted, however the partner must keep a log of what they give and the date for traceability purposes.
Community Larders are not recommended for those in Food Crisis, Partners should refer to a food bank in this instance, however for those who are experiencing financial insecurity each partner is given 10 discretionary memberships to appoint at their discretion. There also may be other funding available to support people for a short period of time.
Our comprehensive onboarding marketing pack contains everything you need to start a community larder. All training and induction are carried out in-house.
SOFEA sends purpose made marketing materials, including display boards to promote your food, all larders are unique, and you may choose to display your food in a certain way. Our helpful planogram will be able to support you as well as reminding you of any compliance requirements.
Yes, your Community Larder is yours to run. Most volunteers are recruited by the partnering organisation, Members often become Volunteers.
Yes, all partners and volunteers have access to induction and training materials, we also provide Level 2 Food hygiene training plus training for our CRM platform.
All food for Community Larders is “Hard Allocated”, we work with partners to establish the types of food preferred by their members based on demographics, we cannot guarantee certain foods, however we always try to support where we can, particularly with dietary and cultural requests.
SOFEA do not renumerate Partners or Volunteers, however each larder can have 5 discretionary Volunteer memberships. Some partnering organisations independently fund expenses for Volunteers.
The cost of setting up a Community Larder based on our model is £0, however there may be some associated costs the partner may incur for things like Venue hire, public liability insurance and storage.
Yes, we actively encourage each larder to raise funds to grow its larder, example of this is to support Wrap around services to enhance the Growth at a community engagement level.
- Members are signed up via our bespoke CRM platform Sheep. Members sign up independently following a link form our website, alternatively there may be times where partners support the sign-up process in person or over the phone.
- Once a member is signed up, they can access their appointed larder straight away.
Yes, an optimal number of members per larder is 100, this can be a derivative of families = 2 memberships. (i.e., 50 families = 100 members)
- We have a comprehensive set of marketing materials plus a marketing process all partners must follow, this is in addition with our branding guidelines. You will be asked to create a Community Larder Facebook page. Support is available for this.
- You will receive agreed flyer templates to use periodically throughout the year, there are elements of these that can be adapted.
Chilled food is part of the future modelling, we are working to pilot chilled membership in 2021.
Yes, however any additional donations of food and non-food items must not be offered as part of membership, nor displayed with SOFEA food.
Fruit and Vegetables are sent as part of the allocation. There may be some weeks SOFEA have a shortage; each larder will be given the correct amount based on the membership level. We hope to be able to give members at least a choice of 4 items.
- Local Authorities often have grants available for organisations,
- Contact local town councils and parish organisations for funding.
No, we want Partners to have the autonomy to grow and enhance their communities themselves, Larder’s compliment work already being caried out locally. We can however support with our expertise, our monthly partners meetings are a good way to share ideas and offer support.
No, Community Larders are cashless, and based on members paying by direct debit, we can offer support to those who are in financially insecurity.
We can open a larder in 1 month.
No, we ask partners to inform us of the 4 weeks of the year they are happy to not accept a food delivery, some larders may choose to open 52 weeks of the year, however food will only be provided for 48 of those.
Yes – you can download them here:
How you can get involved
We’re always eager to work with more partners who can use or support our services. To explore ways of doing that, please get in touch.