Tuesday Jun 20, 2023

Episode 7 | Pantry Provisions and the Covid-19 Pandemic

A pantry differs from both a food bank and a grocery store, yet each can be connected within a local food network. In this episode, Elena Vacca shares her experience working with Your Local Pantry in Manchester, U.K. during the Covid-19 pandemic. Elena offers insights into YLP’s resilience and adaptability, explaining the unique benefits of the members-based, volunteer-led pantry model. She describes how skyrocketing demand and social distancing requirements impacted the pantries in 2020, from sourcing food to the complex logistical planning that moved 150 parcels through delivery routes each day. She also addresses the recent challenges posed by the cost-of-living crisis and reflects on the potential to collaborate with government to improve food security. Drawing on her grassroots experience on the frontlines at the pantry and on her advocacy work to promote community-based access to healthy food, Elena shares ideas for what’s needed to transition to a more just and sustainable food system. This interview with the Feeding City Lab was recorded on March 22, 2023.  

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