More community larders to open in Northamptonshire as charity expands and partners with Hope Centre

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The larders are opening in time for the school holidays so children have access food even when schools are closed

An additional three community larders will open in Northamptonshire as the charity behind them partners with the Hope Centre.

TowFood was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic when volunteers came together to deliver 44,000 food boxes to those most in need.

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In 2021, the organisation opened its first community larder - where surplus food is sold at affordable prices - in Towcester.

Miranda Wixon from TowFood and Alex Copeland from the Hope Centre, Northampton.Miranda Wixon from TowFood and Alex Copeland from the Hope Centre, Northampton.
Miranda Wixon from TowFood and Alex Copeland from the Hope Centre, Northampton.

Since then it has expanded and opened larders in Castle Ashby and Denton, as well as delivering to villages where there are no shops and where there are particularly vulnerable people who cannot get to a main town for shopping.

Now, as the school holidays are upon us, the charity is preparing to launch three more larders in Brixworth, Daventry and Woodford Halse. It is also beginning a partnership with the Hope Centre to offer more “wrap around” support for mental health, as well as other services.

Volunteer and founder of TowFood Miranda Wixon said: “We wanted to move into other rural areas that aren’t getting sustainable food so we are working with community groups to be able to access surplus food to supply communities.

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“Larders are community hubs, safe spaces where people can go. Everyone can come - they don’t have to prove in any way that they’re in hardship.

“The summer holidays are a key trigger point, which is why we are launching more larders next week. This summer we want to make sure children have food even when schools are closed.”

The charity, which has an army of 130 volunteers, says it currently helps around 1,000 a week. This is expected to rise now. Following the British Grand Prix in Silverstone, the volunteers also rescued 7.5 tonnes of surplus food.

Miranda added: “We are rescuing food from everywhere, which means we are neutral to the environment. The food could otherwise be sent to landfill.

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“We have volunteers out every single night, in every food outlet collecting food and making sure it’s kept in a good condition.”

The new larders are part of a wider aspiration to give everyone access to sustainable food at an affordable price. The timing is also imperative as Miranda wants to make sure children, during the holidays, have access to food they would normally get from schools.

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“We want to build community capacity. We can look after each other in Northampton, we have an amazing cohort of volunteers and people want to help,” Miranda continued.

“We want to expand and we want everyone to be able to access sustainable food but we can only do that with the help of charities like Hope.

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“It’s the power of working together that will make this work.”

The Woodford Halse larder opens on Tuesday (July 26) and Daventry and Brixworth open on Wednesday (July 27).

Memberships for the larders cost £10 per year or shopping from £5 per week or £17.50 a month for 10 items a week.

Visit the TowFood website to find out more including locations and times.