Community Larder, incorporating Food, Pet Food and Hygiene Bank

WE ARE OPEN! FCS have opened a community larder for all residents, regardless of circumstance. We have kindly been offered space at Tricuro Ferndown Day Centre, and have a fridge, freezer and dry store to enable food that would otherwise go to waste to be offered free of charge to the local community. We will keep you updated here and on social media.

Where to find us?

FCS Community Larder FAQs

What is a Community Larder?

Community fridges and larders are innovative resources for everyone to use and are designed to ensure that food does not go to waste. Food is available for anyone to take free of charge, you do not have to be on a low income or prove need if you are, there are no limits to how many times you attend. The motto is – if you can make use of the food, you are welcome to it. Follow our Facebook pages to get updates about what food we have in stock. The Community Larder also acts as a hub for the local community, enabling us to make food accessible for anyone, but also providing a community network where people can meet and share waste reducing ideas, and also pursue other initiatives. Please do not feel like you are taking food from people who need it more, this is all about saving waste as much as anything, and there is a donation box so pop in and see if we have anything on your shopping list, pop a donation in the box if you want to, and cross that item off your list! All donations go towards our work and supporting those most in need in the community.

Why are Community Fridges/Larders so important to our society?

The Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP) estimate that 61% of food waste in the UK could be avoided and that the average family in the UK throws away £470 worth of edible food each year. A Community Fridge/Larder is a creative tool to help combat this growing issue. It provides suppliers with the opportunity to share surplus food with the community and stop food being wasted. Across the UK Community Fridges/Larders have already helped families and individuals save money, stopped perfectly edible food going to waste and built connections within communities.

Who can take food from the Community Larder?

Everyone is welcome to visit our community larder to take food. The more people who use the Larder, the more waste we can reduce, so please come along and support our project. Our aim is to reduce the amount of waste reaching landfill sites. The Community Larder also enables people facing hardship to have easy access to fresh, nutritious food.

How is the Food Bank different to the Larder?

We also have a Food, Pet food and Hygiene bank for people in financial difficulty.  We encourage all those who are struggling to come and speak to us and use us.  We do not require vouchers, but rely on honesty and trust and getting to know individuals.  This may change in the future if demand increases and we need a more secure and dedicated system to allocate items to.  But we will always consider the needs and wishes of those who need us and use us first. 

How will we keep our shelves full of food?

We are trusting the local community and grant applications for this! This community and our businesses have been absolutely brilliant so far, and continue to support our more vulnerable members of the community by donating items in our donation bin in Tesco, and in the Larder itself, as well as services and time.  Thank you and please keep it coming.  If you would like to support us going forward, we have weekly lists of items most needed (though anything is welcome), or you can donate money on our website or set up a monthly donation to support us.   Perhaps you could commit to bringing a donation once a week? Or do you know someone who owns a food-based business who would be willing to donate? We are also always looking for businesses, schools, or other organisations (i.e. scouts, sports teams, etc.) to conduct a food drive or fundraising event for us. If you are interested in this, please contact us at info@ferndowncommunitysupport.org.uk or speak to someone in the Larder.

How do I use the Community Larder?

Our Community Larder is supported by local food stores and is open Monday – Friday from 2pm – 5.00pm, and Saturday between 10.30 -1pmWe also have a range of non food stuffs that we also distribute. The FCS Community Larder is based at the rear of Ferndown Day Centre, in Penny’s Walk/Library Road.

What food items can we accept?

To ensure excellent food safety and quality we have strict guidance on what can be donated:
We can accept:

• Fruit
• Vegetables
• Bakery products that do not contain cream
• Non-dairy drinks
• Unopened Salad or Vegetable packets
• Unopened Non-perishables items (tins, pasta, jars etc)
• Fresh Eggs (traceable, clean, lion stamped with a use by date)
• Unopened pasteurised milk, cheese and yoghurt
• Unopened fruit juices

What Food items we cannot accept?

• Food beyond the USE BY date (best before is fine)
• Cooked food from uncertified sources
• No raw meat, raw fish or cooked rice
• Unpasteurised Milk or products containing this
• Raw milk cheese
• Pates
• Beansprouts
• Any items containing the above ingredients

How can I become a volunteer?

Our fridges are run by a team of volunteers, with people needed to collect and deliver food, open and close the fridge, manage the stock, clean and organise, prepare rotas, collate the data collected, co-ordinate social media and marketing and fundraising. For more information check our Volunteer page, email or message us on Facebook. For most of the roles volunteers will need food and safety hygiene certificates or be willing to follow a training course. We will provide this.

Can I give food I’ve cooked/baked?

YES! We would welcome home cooked stuff, but please list ingredients and allergens, and follow correct food hygiene procedures. The food must also not contain any of our foods we cannot accept (see above). If you would like to donate cooked/baked food, we ask you to complete a food hygiene level 2 course (approx 1-2hours online training) which we will provide.

Do you have future plans for development of your services?

YES!!!  We are definitely looking to expand our support, and have many ideas and plans coming forward.  If there is something you think could be useful or you have a potential solution to a problem please speak to us to discuss it as we love to hear your ideas.  Our community knows best what it needs. 

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