The Lancaster Labour Community Club talks about its new food cooperative in this week’s local food column… 

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We know that many people are having a hard time at the moment, and so we have set up a project that aims to offer friendly and practical help that will make it easier for people to manage their household budget.

We’ll be getting food from FareShare – a national charity that intercepts ‘waste’ food from supermarket chains.  It is all good food, but its food that would have gone to waste; often for trivial reasons such as the packaging being damaged or the supermarket cancelling an order too late.  We’ll organise the food in what we’re calling ‘The Pantry’.  People can browse and select from The Pantry whilst having a chat. It will hopefully become a bit like a village shop.

We will operate as a pop-up-club, once a week on a Thursday evening from 6.30-8.00 pm at the Friends Meeting House.  Anyone who wants to become a member, but finds that time difficult, should still get in touch.  And kids are welcome to come with parents.

Members will pay an attendance fee of £1 per session and will get tea and biscuits, a bit of chat, and a couple of bags of groceries from The Pantry.

As people coming to the club are members of the cooperative and they’re paying an attendance fee that covers the club services, this is very different to a food bank.

Over time we hope to develop the range of activities available to members.  As the club is a cooperative everyone gets a say and a vote.  Members shape what they want to get out of the club, and members will help to run it.

The project is based on a simple but powerful idea.  We have people in our community who are up against it financially and often feel alone with their struggle.  Others in the community recognise their struggle and want to help.   Joining the club is a positive action that will give people a better chance to stay on top of their budget, allowing them to feel less isolated and a bit more optimistic.

We’re now looking for members.  

We know it’s not easy for people to say that they’re struggling, but the club is a really practical and positive step to take.  Please help us to spread the word and encourage people to get in touch, so we can reach the people who need this most!

For more information call Deborah on 07709 546280 or email

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