Pathways to food security project


Payback Pathways to Post-Covid Food Security – project summary.


What would you like to do?

Community Payback (CP) is a court sentence requiring offenders to undertake up to 300 hours unpaid community work. During lockdown CP workers in Stockport worked in surplus food centres ( and pantries ( packing and delivering food parcels for families in food poverty. Many in food poverty themselves continue to 'do their hours' at Fareshare and pantries. But increasing demand for surplus food, together with supermarket efficiencies and labour shortages is reducing surplus food available and many pantries are seeking new sources of income to bulk-buy non-surplus food to supplement what surplus food is available, without having to put up pantry membership fees, which would debilitate their mission to help families out of food poverty. Our project will use CP workers to raise funds for pantries while providing a pathway into paid employment for themselves, lifting them and pantry members out of food poverty. They'll start their CP work as pantry volunteers and complete it as work trials with supermarkets who'll guarantee at least an interview for paid employment on successful completion of their CP work at the supermarket. The supermarket will make a charitable donation to the pantry equivalent to the monetary value of the CP worker's unpaid work trial as fulfilment of the CP community benefit requirement and their own Corporate Social Responsibility commitments. This will enable the pantry to bulk-buy food to supplement dwindling surplus food supplies without increasing membership fees. Piloting over 12 months in Stockport, people will learn about the project through pantry members. It'll provide a sustainable way out of food poverty for CP workers and pantry members and a new source of pantry income while easing labour shortages at supermarkets. We will base a national roll-out on learning from the project and produce a template for CP with other charities and employers nationwide.


 How does your project meet at least one of our funding priorities?

The project changes and adapts the role of CP workers supporting pantries, enabling them to become more resilient and respond to the new and future challenges of post covid dwindling surplus food supplies. It builds strong relationships within and across communities by strengthening pantry membership and the pantries' offer to their local communities. It rebuilds a pro-social relationship between offenders and the communities against whom they have offended and strengthens the relationship between supermarkets and the communities they serve. It helps more people to reach their potential through pantry membership by supporting them at the earliest stage to get out of food poverty. It helps offenders to reach their full potential of crime-free lives by providing an opportunity for them to pay back to the communities against whom they have offended and provides a pathway to paid employment to lift them out of food poverty and sustain a crime-free lifestyle.


How does your project involve your community?

The idea for the project came from a group of 5 CP workers at the Greater Manchester Fareshare surplus food distribution depot. The idea was subsequently tested with other stakeholders - Brinnington pantry members in Stockport while they were doing their weekly shop; Greater Manchester CP Manager; Co-operative Group Head of Community Affairs; south Manchester Cooperative Group Member Pioneer Co-ordinator; the board of Foundations Stockport ( who are the franchisors of 'Your Local Pantry' social franchise (; Fareshare Greater Manchester ( and The Bread and Butter Thing ( CP workers will be involved in the delivery of the project through initial CP placements at Fareshare, Bread and Butter Thing and Stockport pantries, followed by completion of their CP unpaid work requirements at local Co-operative Stores and supermarkets, all of whom will be involved as CP placement hosts. Placements will be brokered and supervised by the Greater Manchester CP Manager and his team in partnership with pantry volunteers, Fareshare, Bread and Butter Thing staff and Co-op store management. Charitable donations by the Co-op to the pantries will be managed by Co-op Head of Community Affairs. A project steering group will be established with all the above stakeholders and chaired by Nornir.