Langney Larder, which celebrates its one-year anniversary this month, helps fight food poverty and reduce waste.
The larder has ‘hundreds’ of members and is visited by an average of fifty families a week, according to the company’s CEO Helen Burton.
Located in Etchingham Road, the larder is operated by local community interest company Volunteers Network.
Helen, who is also an Eastbourne borough councillor for the area, said she decided to establish the larder after witnessing the growing number of families in need.
After serving packed lunches during school holidays, Helen said she wanted to create more permanent support for local families.
She said, “Across the country poverty is an issue that people don’t realise is going on under their noses.”
She said people on benefits have been ‘demonised’ in the past and this means those needing help often feel too ashamed to seek it.
She added, “Community larders and fridges like ours remove that shame by focusing on reducing food waste and charging a membership fee of £2 per visit.
“Alongside our larder we work closely with Foodbank who now operate from the centre on a Thursday.
“They run a more holistic service that can help people move out of poverty, so we try to encourage our members to go to Foodbank too if they are struggling.”
The larder provides refrigerated items as well as packaged food, tinned food and fresh fruit and vegetables.
The larder is open every Tuesday from 10am to midday for anyone who wishes to access supplies.
Helen said FareShare Sussex supply the majority of food, and items are also donated by local supermarkets and individuals – including DB Domestics which donated a fridge freezer.
Larder volunteers are also working to develop relationships with more outlets throughout Eastbourne to broaden access to surplus food and reduce waste as part of the town’s carbon neutral plan, according to the councillor.
The larder’s CEO explained that food waste contributes an estimated 10 per cent to greenhouse gas emissions, so the project not only helps put food on tables and eases stress on family budgets, but also does it’s part to help the environment.
In addition to providing food for local residents, the larder also works as a distribution point to assist other services such as Warming Up The Homeless, Olio, Old Town Community Fridge and the Salvation Army.
In January, Volunteers Network will be rolling out an initiative giving out slow cookers.
Later in the year the group will also be creating a community garden opposite the community centre, according to Councillor Burton.
To get involved please contact: [email protected]