LCBC Community Pantry

Our Food Waste Impact The amount of food we have intercepted from local supermarkets so far

30,770 kg

(Rounded to the nearest 5kg)

which equates to a CO2 saving of:



Community Pantry Feedback Form

At Little Chefs Big Chefs, we strive to improve our service and value the input of both users as well as the community.
Therefore, we would truly appreciate it if you could complete this brief form to help give us feedback, both positive and negative, and if there are areas where we can improve,

There are a few changes and guidelines which we have had to implement to ensure everyone’s safety:

Each step is conditional and can be reversible if we feel that public and our own safety is compromised.

  • We ask that users wear a face covering unless exempt. Masks shall also be available at the pantry for those who do not have one.
  • All users will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance prior to entering, and again inside before entering the pantry itself.
  •  We will be allowing a maximum of 2 adults per bubble to help reduce transmission and queuing. Please try to visit alone where possible.
  • We have a limit of 10 users in the building at one time, which includes children with a one in, one out system. Only 1 person/bubble will be allowed to access each table and the fridge/freezer area at one time.
  • We ask users to abide by the social distancing guidelines of 2 metres whilst waiting, as well as in the building. This is not only to keep risk down but also because we understand that many struggle with this new normality and feel anxious over being close to others.
  • We will be keeping a temporary record of who attends the pantry for 21 days. This data may be provided to NHS Test and Trace if needed. (It is not compulsory for people to provide information but could help contain outbreaks). This is in addition to users scanning the QR Test and Trace code at the entrance.
  • We prefer card payments, Apple/Google pay or PayPal, but where this is not possible, we can still take cash payments. Users will be asked to give the correct change and deposit this in our cash box.
  • Staff and/or volunteers will be taking every precaution to keep both users and themselves safe.

We thank you for your patience and understanding

The Community Pantry is open:

Mondays and Fridays 

10.00 am – 12.00 noon

Our Pantry Hampers will be available on collect on Thursday mornings

10.00 – 11.00 am

We are situated at St Helen’s Parish Hall, Middlewood Green, DL14 9DL with plenty of parking available.

(The building is the community centre next to the play area and accessed via the road next to the church – map below)

What is the LCBC Community Pantry?

The Community Pantry is a small ‘store’ open to all members of the community and aimed at reducing food, non-food and plastic waste whilst helping everyone to save money.

By helping change mindsets over using surplus foods, we not only hope to reduce perfectly edible food going to landfill and impacting our beautiful planet, but also help to reduce household expenditure on food.

Did you know that the average family wastes 244kg of food each year with a value of £730*? I’m sure that this would be better off in pockets than down the drain!

(Source: WRAP 2020)

LCBC Community Pantry
LCBC Community Pantry

What will be on offer?

As a charitable organisation, we collect surplus food such as bakery, storecupboard, fruit, vegetables, some chilled and frozen foods as well as various non-food items including flowers and occasionally clothing and household items from local stores. The amounts and types of food and non-food vary so this will be reflected on what will be offered each week.

We can offer guidance and recipes on how to use the different foods (just like a traditional greengrocer or butcher) and how you can use leftovers. Leaflets on how to use up foods, recipes and recycling will also be available. We can also signpost the community to services and activities in the area through literature and our own knowledge of what is available.

LCBC Pantry

How will it work?

All items will be available for a small service contribution reflective of what you take. Once you have chosen the items you need, one of our members will tally up your basket. An average basket of items is £3 – £5. Any contributions will go towards covering overhead costs thus helping us to continue this project and go towards other initiatives which we offer such as our FREE snack bags for children.

We can accept card payments, Apple/Google pay, PayPal or cash, whichever you prefer. At the moment, we prefer if you can make contactless payments.

We put a restriction of one basket per household and how many certain foods can be taken in order to make this fair to everyone. We ask that you are considerate of others when taking food and flowers for this reason.

We now have a Pay It Forward initiative to show the kindness in the community. Anyone can donate to this or take a post it note to take up the offer.

Will the food offered be safe to eat?

YES, YES, YES! The food we collect is surplus stock. This can be the result of over-ordering, stock which will not scan, a damaged box, donations from the public/shops, or some foods can be near, or past the best before date but this is still safe to eat. Best before refers to the quality of the food not the safety so for example, the texture may be different. We can only pass on foods with a use by date if we can freeze them on this date. We then label this appropriately with guidance of when to use. This is perfectly safe and legal as freezing acts as a ‘pause’ button.

Due to cross contamination of foods such as bakery, we have to advise that those with severe allergies should not use the pantry.

We wish to actively reduce the stigma and fear of consuming food past its best before date and truly believe that we need to return to using our own judgement on these foods and in doing so, reduce our food waste and therefore our impact on the environment.

LCBC Community Pantry

We have recently been awarded the highest 5* rating from our food hygiene inspection. Our high standards and observation of laws surrounding the passing on of surplus foods are there to ensure everyone’s safety.

LCBC Community Pantry – Food Hygiene Rating

Why we can’t provide bags and why we unpack foods?

LCBC Community Pantry
LCBC Community Pantry

Much of the plastic packaging and bags cannot be recycled at home in our area and due to their composition, they will take many years to break down. If we encourage everyone to bring their own bags to reuse again, this will help to reduce the amount of  plastic going to landfill.

Many foods wrapped in plastic sweat and deteriorate quicker and sometimes we are tempted to buy foods prepacked because they work out cheaper per product or there are no smaller options. Both reasons can lead to more food waste. 

As you may be aware, we are facing a big shift in climate change so if we all did a little bit in reducing our carbon footprint by reducing our plastic waste as well as our food and general waste too, we may help to slow this change.

Reducing our waste, reusing what we can, and recycling can be a key part of a climate change strategy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Are there any other benefits to this project?


Any food which still is edible is passed on to other groups in our area to share with their users.

Any food which is not fit for human consumption is passed on to local smallholders for animal/bird feed (just as it used to be years ago). This not only means even less food goes to landfill but the progression of the food through their ‘plumbing system’ produces manure which contributes to the fertility of soil.

This means that we reduce food waste even more.

LCBC Community Pantry

Little Chefs Big Chefs CIC is a registered food business and we adhere strictly to our legal responsibilities to comply with food legislation in order to keep everyone safe.

We hope to help support our local community and would like to invite you all to be a part of this project through feedback, ideas and perhaps volunteering.

It is only through the support of the local community that we can work together to create change and a better place.

St Helen's Parish Hall, Middlewood Green, DL14 9DL

This project is kindly funded by Believe Housing

Although our Community Pantry project is currently funded, our initial phase is soon coming to an end and there may come a time when we have to fund this ourselves. The income we receive from contributions help to cover initiatives such as our FREE fruit or snack bags and small purchases we have to make, but unfortunately, is not enough to cover the core costs directly associated with the pantry.

We feel that our project is vital, not only to help distribute food at the end of the supply chain to save from going to landfill (thus impacting our environment) but to help save everyone money, especially in these times of economic uncertainty.

We are therefore asking for donations to help our Community Pantry continue for the benefit of the community.

We have also opened up our project for volunteer opportunities. Please get in touch if you wish to offer support in the pantry:

Jo: 07507 666 805

Your support will be greatly appreciated. 

As a non-profit organisation, ALL income is accounted for and any profit has to be rolled back into the organisation.