Pathways update 4 April 2022


This project is funded by the National Lottery




Project plans and developments as outlined in 21st March report (above) remain in place and progressing to plan.

Further scoping of similar initiatives and plans for similar complementary projects in Stockport, across Greater Manchester and beyond is continuing and their implications for the initial piloting of Payback Pathways and its future development are outlined below, together with Action Points for the Payback Pathways Project over the next reporting period.

Trussell Trust and Community Payback

Trussell Trust the largest third sector Food Bank provider in the UK, is working with Fareshare and Greater Manchester Community Payback to set up a Food Bank in Oldham staffed 100% by Community Payback Workers under the supervision of a Probation CP Supervisor.

Trussell are also appointing Regional  Pantry Development Workers across the UK to set up Pantries as progression routes from emergency Food Bank provision. These Pantries will also be at least partially staffed by CP workers. All these new Food Banks and Pantries will be 100% reliant on surplus food and therefore likely to increase the pressure on Fareshare to keep up with rapidly increasing demand.

Funding bulk buy food supplies

As one response to this problem Fareshare in Greater Manchester are exploring the feasibility of establishing a fund to  bulk buy wholesale non-surplus food supplies to supplement dwindling supplies of surplus food in the same way as Foundations Stockport plan to do with the Payback Pathways project . It is not known yet how Fareshare plan to finance their new fund, whereas Foundations plan to finance theirs from the profits of the Payback Pathways social enterprises, as outlined in the project plan for the present project.

Church Action on Poverty have also established a ‘Friends of Your Local Pantry’ fund to do the same – bulk buy wholesale supplies for the Your Local Pantry network. This is financed entirely by charitable donations, but is not proving popular with  member Pantries as Church Action on Poverty take 25% of the fund to cover their admin costs.

Action Point 1: Explore further with stakeholders whether Payback Pathways social enterprises’ profits should go to finance  Foundations Stockport’s Bulk Buy Fund (as in the original project plan) or go to Greater Manchester Fareshare’s Bulk Buy Fund for Foundations to ‘buy into’?

Community Payback and ‘Beyond the Food Bank and Building on the Pantry’

There are increasing numbers of Food Security initiatives across Greater Manchester and beyond which are

  • Using Community Payback Workers to staff their operations or thinking of doing so.
  • Seeking more sustainable ways of accessing surplus and non surplus food supplies for distribution to people in food poverty.

These initiatives can be loosely grouped together as going ‘Beyond the Food Bank and Building on the Pantry’.

Some examples from Greater Manchester and elsewhere include the following (this is an indicative rather than comprehensive list) All appear to face the same problems of how to access non-surplus food in order to supplement the dwindling supplies of surplus food available without raising prices/membership fees.

Many are based on more explicitly co-operative lines with greater degree of member/service user control and ownership than that offered by Food Banks and Pantries. All perhaps would further benefit from considering the Payback Pathways model. This could then potentially form the basis of a national roll-out once proof of concept has been achieved by the present project.

Examples include

Action Point 2: undertake a more comprehensive scoping exercise of ‘Beyond the Food Bank and Building on the Pantry’ initiatives across Greater Manchester and beyond.

Action Point 3: undertake further feasibility work concerning the applicability and appetite for the Payback Pathways model of funding purchase of non-surplus food supplies for ‘Beyond the Food Bank and Building on the Pantry’ initiatives across Greater Manchester and beyond.


Social Enterprises in the Payback Pathways Model

Scoping work concerning possible partners in the development of the three social enterprises identified in the last report has begun as the first stage in business planning.

The following have been identified and discussions are ongoing:-

Liquid Fertilizer:- Incredible Edible CiC . NW Prisons Greener on the Outside of Prison (GOOP) project

Urban Mushrooms:- Manchester Mushroom Co-operative  Manchester Urban Diggers

Juicing and Bottling:- Rooted in Hull  Small Scale Bottling

Action Point 4: continue scoping  and business planning with priority given to Liquid Fertilizer.