Food service becomes lifeline for families in Oldham amid cost of living crisis

A catering service in Oldham is becoming a lifeline for a growing number of families as the cost of living crisis intensifies.

Sally-Ann’s Pantry, which is run by the Salvation Army at her body (church) in Oldham Roundthorn, located on Roundthorn Road, was originally set up to prevent food waste but has become a lifeline for prevent people from falling into food poverty as supermarket prices continue to soar.

Working in partnership with local supermarkets, the Salvation Army receives products that can no longer be sold due to an expired sell-by date, but not a use-by date, including fresh fruits and vegetables and bakery products.

Captain Jonathan Pitts, Salvation Army church leader at Oldham Roundthorn, led the program when it opened in early 2020.

He said: “We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of those who need access.

“People are getting more and more desperate and low-income workers just can’t keep up with the rising costs.

“Sally-Ann’s Pantry is a way to get substantial, nutritious food on the tables for a fraction of the high street cost.

“With the cost of living and energy rising, there are only so many cuts you can make, and once you hit your limit, anyone and everyone might be in need, and that’s actually pretty scary.”

James from Oldham, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, and his partner first discovered Sally-Ann’s Pantry when they lost their steady jobs and found Universal Credit payments weren’t enough to support cover all their bills.

The 34-year-old said: “It was a tough time for us. Suddenly the rug was pulled from under us, and it was a struggle.

“I never imagined that I would need to use a food bank service, it can happen to you, even when you are working, when you least expect it.

“You can have it all, a comfortable life and then suddenly your whole world can turn upside down.”

Sally-Ann’s Pantry is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

People wishing to use the food service are asked to make the suggested donation of one pound which goes back into the food supply and into the church food bank which works on a referral basis for the most vulnerable members of the community. community.

Oldham Roundthorn Church also runs a weekly hospitality offering; the Phare Project from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday which includes a hot meal accompanied by help and advice, as well as a food parcel.

Anyone who works for a supermarket and wants to donate fresh produce for the pantry can contact Oldham Roundthorn Church on 0161 624 6550.

To donate to the Oldham Roundthorn Salvation Army, visit the charity’s Just Giving page.