Chard Local Pantry celebrated its first anniversary on February 24.

The pantry works towards making surplus food available to local families for a nominal weekly fee, reducing food waste in the process.

The dedication and efforts of Chard's pantry were acknowledged at FareShare South West's Social Impact Awards 2023, where it was presented the Social and Community Award as Somerset Local Pantry Network (SLPN) members.

Chard & Ilminster News: The Chard Local Pantry team on opening day in 2023The Chard Local Pantry team on opening day in 2023 (Image: Somerset Council)

Cath Morrison, vice chair of the Chard Community Hub CIC, said: "We have a great team of volunteers who are committed and support us with welcoming members and collecting food.

"FareShare South West have been amazing with the quality of the food they deliver, and we look forward to continuing the partnership.

"In the last 12 months, we've seen an increase in demand, but it's nothing that we can't handle and we're proud to say we've now supported over 50 Chard households."

Several organisations have funded and backed Chard, including Somerset Council, local social landlord, Abri, and the Lord's Larder Chard.

Numerous business donations have also been received.

The SLPN partnership includes Somerset Council, local community groups and food charity, FareShare South West.

While Somerset Council provided initial support and grant money to launch Local Pantries, each pantry operates independently, supported by voluntary sector groups as necessary.

Food charity, Action Against Hunger, recently produced a film on the Somerset pantries, focusing on their significant community impact.