Children's health and food

A community food pantry for Peckham

We're supporting Pecan to run the Peckham Pantry - a community food store where local people can access subsidised, healthier food.

Key partnership information

Partner: Pecan, running the Peckham Pantry

Funding amount: £595,000

Duration: 4 years

Programme: Children’s health and food


What we’re doing together

Pecan is a community development charity that runs the Peckham Pantry, a community food store offering healthier food options for households on lower incomes. We are working with them to test the scalability and sustainability of the ‘pantry’ model, a membership scheme where customers pay £4.50 a week to select a basket of fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and dry goods worth more than £15.

By replicating a typical shopping experience, Peckham Pantry aims to offer a sustainable and dignified alternative to support people on lower incomes. By increasing access to healthy, affordable food for families, Peckham Pantry also aims to improve children’s health and break the link between low income and poor nutrition.

The project is being delivered across two sites. The pilot site at St Luke’s Church Peckham opened in May 2019 and operates once a week; while the new retail site on Peckham Park Road launched in November 2020 and is opened six days a week.

As of January 2022, Peckham Pantry had over 3,800 members. Across all members, 53% had children in their household and 48% lived in social housing. A survey of members in November 2021 revealed that 40% were reporting financial difficulties, with another 42% saying they were ‘just about getting by.’ As the cost of living crisis escalates, this picture is likely to worsen.

We’re testing the feasibility of the pantry business model long term to gain insight into what extent it can improve access to nutritious food for local families. By looking at how we can scale up the pantry model, we hope to create a local network of places to buy affordable, healthy food, to stem the tide of unhealthy options flooding our boroughs.

Ultimately, this project hopes to create a blueprint and examples of good practices that can be shared with other community organisations looking to address food insecurity.

Aims of the partnership

With food insecurity and the cost of living on the rise, we know that families across our boroughs can often find it hard to get nutritious food regularly.  Our partnership with Pecan aims to give local residents access to healthy, affordable food options every week for the long term. We want to have a positive impact on their overall health, while also contributing to their financial wellbeing.

The Peckham Pantry gives us the chance to test a whole new way of selling food, as well as providing an alternative to food banks, which often have limited ability to ensure nutritious options.

Connection to our strategy

One of our strategic aims is to improve access to nutritious food for families in the neighbourhoods they live in. We are trialling different retail models that make healthy eating at home easier and increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Our work with the Peckham Pantry aligns with our programme priority to make access to healthy options more equitable. This means disrupting the food market, testing new models for food shopping, and finding ways to make healthier options more profitable at lower price points.

More about the Peckham Pantry

Find out more about the Peckham Pantry's membership model, as well as how to access food and volunteer.

Visit Peckham Pantry's website