Community Larders are not food banks.

Now that we’ve got that sorted, here’s what we are…

We are a community larder

A community larder is a ‘pop-up’ hub, a place to access food that is surplus, make friends, access additional services and save money on your bills. Some larders have been set up like your average store, even fitted by our friends at the Co-op. All Community Larders are unique in their own way, “reducing food waste, creating opportunities, engaging with communities”.

What else does a SOFEA community larder do?

The clue’s in the name. We’re here for your local community. We’re not just a place to access food. We’re a place to stop and chat. To catch up with friends. To connect with people. Lots of the people who choose us could shop elsewhere, but they visit us because they know they’ll always meet a friendly face.

The community larder is also a place for support and advice. Perhaps you need to ask a question about debt or finances. Perhaps you want to know how to access mental health care. Perhaps you’re worried – about your work, about your children, about domestic abuse. At a community larder, you can find trusted, expert advice that can help make life better.

All our larders offer different services at different times, so check with your local branch for full details.

What’s the difference between a food bank and a community larder?

Food banks do a fantastic and very necessary job helping to support people who are experiencing food poverty. We work closely with food banks, often referring people.

Community larders are designed to support people to live more independently, “a hand up not a handout” a long-term sustainable approach to food insecurity. We care about the person and community as a whole.

In a SOFEA community larder, the food is free, your weekly subscription allows you choose your food, and access other support. This holistic approach is proven, people look forward to visiting our local Community Larders, regardless of their circumstance. Everyone is welcome!

Where does the money go?

All of the money we generate from our community larders goes back to our communities and or to supporting the young people and adults we work with.