The need for necessities – how a local charity is filling the gap to make food more affordable

Newcastle Pop-up

St Vincent’s Centre Newcastle, which sits on New Bridge Street, has recently opened a new market which gives locals the opportunity to buy everyday essentials at a fraction of the cost of a regular supermarket.

Vinnies Community Pantry is now open 5 days a week for the whole community with shoppers being given the opportunity to pay £5 and receive 10 items they need from a huge range of food, toiletries, baby products, pet food and even cleaning supplies. 

This new initiative came following a sharp increase in the numbers attending the Centre’s weekly pop-up food pantry and a gap in how the charity could be helping more people in the wider community to afford everyday essentials.

Despite opening the new shop, the centre will continue to run it’s Cost of Living Market which takes place every Thursday and gives people the opportunity to buy low-cost items such as clothing, electricals, furniture and other household goods.

It is hoped that local people will turn to Vinnies Community Pantry as it’s a great way to offer a friendly, welcoming and dignified way of shopping to those struggling financially.

Demand in people turning to the centre for help has sky-rocketed and the centre has had to adapt to find new ways to help the community, with their own costs continually growing too.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in people coming to our centre and turning to us for support,” explains Centre Manager Rebecca Stevenson-Read.

“The demand for people needing food and everyday essentials has gone up, and we had the space in the centre so we’ve been able to fill that demand. We’re always looking for any donations of items too. Anything from tinned and dried food to baby products, cleaning essentials and toiletries are always welcomed.”

Volunteers are also needed to help run the pantry, stock the shelves and be a warm and welcome face for all who are visiting. 

Vinnies Community Pantry is open Monday to Friday from 9.30m until 4pm with everyone welcome.

To make any donations or to speak about volunteer opportunities please call the centre directly on 0191 261 6027.