Community Food Pantry at Hirwaun Primary School

Reducing food waste in our community while also helping families.

Hirwaun School food

What did you do and how did you involve the whole school?

We have been working with the local Co-operative store (Hirwaun), Penderyn food waste scheme  and The Trussell Trust (Glynneath) to provide a Community Food Pantry, where we offer food that is coming towards the end of its use by/best before date to people within the community as well as families within our school.  All pupils are informed of this, and it is promoted on our school messaging app and Friends of Hirwaun Facebook group. 

How and why did you decide on this target?

After completing the Eco-Schools Environmental Review one point put onto our action plan was to look at how to reduce waste.  Previously we have looked at recycling and decided to relook at the reducing aspect.  We were approached by the local Co-op store to help them to reduce food waste and decided it would help meet one of our targets.

How has the project impacted on your school and your community?

When the pantry began there were only 1 or 2 families using it.  We now have a considerable amount more and also members of the community that are not linked to the school.  It is promoted on our school messaging app as well as community Facebook groups.  We were also able to provide families in need with hampers for Christmas.  Emma from the Co-op said, “It’s great to see families in the community benefitting from what would otherwise be thrown away, we have had a considerable amount less waste”.

How did you celebrate success and what are your next steps?

We will continue to hold the community pantry at least once a week. One parent said, “you have no idea how much this has helped” and we would like to help more members of our community.  We are now looking at other recycling/reducing waste projects like housing a bin on site for packaging not recycled at the kerbside.