New community pantry opens at Falkirk Howgate Center

The pantry, which is initially funded by the UK government’s Community Renewal Fund, receives donations of surplus food from local businesses and is open to all.

Pat Reid, former provost of Falkirk and current chairman of the Central Scotland Regional Equality Council (CSREC), did the honors by officially opening the new pantry, located in Unit 8 of the shopping centre.

Mr Reid said: ‘Household budgets are under more pressure than they have in generations, and no one likes to see good food go to waste. CSREC has operated a well-used community refrigerator from the Howgate center for two years, reducing food waste and providing a source of food for local families.

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Pat Reid is honored to declare open the new Howgate Center Community Pantry

“We are very happy to be able to cooperate with our friends at 1st Step, to help them expand the initiative and have an even greater impact on waste and household bills during this very difficult time.”

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1st Step Development Manager Maria Throp added, “We are so excited to be able to offer a wide variety of food and other essentials to our local community. The food pantry will be open every Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We encourage everyone to come and use it. Not only are we helping to provide good quality food to local people, but we are also saving huge amounts of food waste.”

Howgate Shopping Center was more than happy to provide a home for the pantry in their huge facility.

Margaret Foy, Howgate Marketing Manager, said: “The Howgate Center is at the heart of our community and provides an easily accessible place to help customers who need this service.

“We are thrilled to support 1st Step and hope the Community Pantry helps relieve some of the many pressures families are currently facing.”

If anyone wants to get involved in the cause, the Community Pantry is always looking to recruit more volunteers.

Norma P. Rex