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Community pantries

Community pantry - 3 people stood next to display of food

Three Community Pantries have been set-up in Warwickshire to help address food poverty in the county, including support with affordability and access to food, for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

The pantries are a medium to long-term solution that aim to provide affordable subsidised food from across all food groups, including a wide selection of store cupboard essentials, chilled, frozen, and fresh fruit & vegetables. Other essential items including a small selection of cleaning products and toiletries are also available. 

In addition to food, the Community Pantries offer a safe space for those at a point of crisis to engage with Citizens Advice support workers in North WarwickshireBedworth, Rugby, and Nuneaton, or South Warwickshire. Citizens Advice can help to resolve underlying causes of individual situations such as debt, income maximisation, health, and other concerns. The County Council’s Family Information Service is also available to signpost individuals to family and children-related support.

How it works

Access to use a Community Pantry can be made by a self-referral from an individual in need, or a referral made through doctors and medical clinics, social services, advice services, welfare teams in schools, or other referral agencies. The friendly and supportive Community Pantry team will then carry out an initial assessment with the individual to identify the most appropriate holistic support available to help to meet their needs.

Use of a Community Pantry is available for a small membership fee of £5 per visit, and members will have the opportunity to select from a choice of food each week for 6 months, whilst being encouraged to engage with the support provided by the wrap around services available. The Community Pantries can be found at the following locations: 

  • Camp Hill (Mobile) Community Pantry on Cedar Road, Camp Hill, Nuneaton, CV10 9DL. Open on Fridays 11:30am to 3pm.
  • Lillington Community Pantry on Pound Lane, Leamington Spa CV32 7RT. Open on Thursdays and Fridays 11am to 3pm.
  • New Arley (Mobile) Community Pantry on Gun Hill, New Arley, Nuneaton, CV7 8HA. Open on Thursdays 11am to 3pm.

To find out more, visit the Community Pantry website 

For more information about how to receive help or to volunteer at a Community Pantry, please phone 01926 350 800 or email 

The Community Pantry project

Community Pantry Logo resized

The Community Pantry is a collaborative proof-of-concept project between Feed the Hungry UK (registered charity no. 1112955) and Warwickshire County Council, having launched in March 2022 to meet the needs of rural and urban communities.  

The purpose behind The Community Pantry project is to help people move beyond an immediate point of crises, particularly with regards to food access, in an empowering and community-led way. The £5 membership fee supports this objective by enabling people to have a dignified shopping experience for good quality food whilst receiving ongoing help through a ‘wrap-around’ family support services offer.  

The three Community Pantry locations have now been open for almost two years. In that time more than 906 people have acquired memberships to be able to visit and purchase food, and Citizens Advice have engaged with members across all three pantries on more than 897 occasions.  

There are 467 total active members across all three pantries as of September 2023. 

As of September 2023, a total of 206 members are registered at Camp Hill, which has increased by 115% since the same time in 2022, and memberships at the mobile pantry in New Arley increased by 78% since September 2022 to 98 registered members. Both Camp Hill and New Arley are seeing a steady flow of members accessing weekly pantry support. New Arley pantry is also supported by the Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) Warm Hub minibus, who provide hot drinks and biscuits to members, and receives regular visits from Warwickshire Mobile Libraries. Arley Big Local continues to provide a uniform swap service and a toy lending service.  

At Lillington Community Pantry, membership numbers have risen by 77% to 602 compared to September 2022, with around 130 members, especially families and senior members, visiting the pantry regularly each week. Hot drinks, friendly chats and advice are available to all members on Thursdays and Fridays, and registered charity Baby Basics helps through referrals to support members that require baby clothes and equipment for children up to age of five years.

In August 2023, Lillington Pantry hosted a beach-themed fun day for families and partner agencies in collaboration with the University of Warwick, Feed the Hungry, and the County Council. The event featured inflatables, food, sand & water play for children, crafts, music, and support from the local Lions Club providing volunteers to help cook the BBQ. Lillington Pantry has also received additional support this year from volunteers provided by Sodexo, JLR, AGCO and Warwick University, as well as making the most of the pantry’s existing and committed volunteer team.  

Previous activities implemented by Lillington Pantry have included volunteer training, a Breakfast with Santa event for families, a Christmas Hampers initiative with the Anti-Illegal money lending team and City Save, and the delivery of over 1,000 advent calendars for pantry members in December 2022. A funding bid to expand the Warm Hub offer to run on Thursday and Friday afternoons, as well as a bid to Cllr Sarah Boad’s Councillor Grant fund to provide warm packs to members struggling with heating costs, were also successful. 

Lillington Community Pantry is also now a Warm Hub, and for the winter months is planning to expand its café provision to provide snacks such as crumpets, as well as working towards offering soups and ready meals. 

Since the opening of the pantries, three members from New Arley, seven members from Camp Hill, and eighteen members from Lillington have chosen to put themselves forward as volunteers at the pantry sites, helping to reinforce the project’s community powered approach for local people to start developing and ‘owning’ each pantry. 

Between July to September 2023, a total of 54 members that used the pantries during this period no longer need pantry food support. During the same three-month period, Citizens Advice supported 86 members in Lillington, 74 in Camp Hill, and 8 in New Arley, which is an increase compared to the previous three months (April to June) in the same year.  

However, it is expected that multiple members across all three pantries will continue to require pantries support over a longer period due to the rising cost of living. Despite having benefits renewed, maximising on income, or needing to wait until pension payments catch-up with inflation, the increasing costs of living mean that many people, are continuing to face personal financial challenges. 

The following additional support services are currently available at each of the Community Pantry locations: 

  • Camp Hill (Mobile) Community Pantry: Citizens Advice, and Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC’s) Family Information Service. 
  • Lillington Community Pantry: Act on Energy, Adult Education, Baby Basics, Brunswick Hub, Citizens Advice, Food bank, Fuel Bank, Helping Hands, Homes for Ukraine, Kenilworth Lions, Love Lillington, Motor Museum craft packs, New Hope Counselling, P3, St Basils Housing Support, Warwickshire Skills Hub, and WCC’s libraries service. 
  • New Arley (Mobile) Community Pantry: Citizens Advice, WCC’s Family Information Service, and WCC’s mobile libraries service.  

Between June to September 2023, the County Council’s Family Information Service (FIS) provided six visits to support pantry members (one visit to New Arley, four visits to Lillington, and one visit to Camp Hill). During this period the FIS team spoke with over 58 members and registered 19 direct enquiries as a result of these important conversations.  

Citizens Advice works with pantry members to address debt and advise on benefits to help maximise incomes for those who are experiencing difficult situations. At the moment income maximisation is particularly being achieved in relation to disability related benefits. However the service is anticipating the debt of members will increase over the winter due to increasing energy pressures and issues arising from mortgage interest payments. 

Between July to September 2023, Citizens Advice addressed £17,000 worth of debt and helped to write off £5,500 for members in Camp Hill. They also increased income maximisation by £76,118. During the same three-month period at New Arley, Citizens Advice support workers addressed £875 of debt, are working towards this being writing off, and advising on income maximisation to the value of £1,580. At Lillington Community Pantry, £10,035 worth of debt was addressed with £1,280 written off during the same three-month period, and with income maximisation support at £45,931. 

Citizens Advice have found the number of pantry members they help has continued to increase since last year, and this is consistent with wider demands on the service that have resulted from the cost of living. Citizens Advice is also continuing to encounter a higher proportion of members that need help who have additional complexities to their circumstances such as long-term health issues, disabilities, or mental health and wellbeing issues that need support. 

To find out more about the Community Pantries, please email

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