Frequently asked questions

Where is Storehouse Pantry and when can I visit?

There are currently two Storehouse Pantry locations in Bolton.  Please see Pantry Locations for more information.


Who can become a member?

Eligibility is explained in our Membership Guidelines.  Please see Pantry Locations for more information.


How do I pay my membership?

£2.50 is payable at each weekly visit, by cash only.  There is no facility to pay in advance for future visits, or to accept card payments.


What if I can’t pay my membership fee?

Unfortunately Storehouse Pantry is only accessible on payment of the membership fee.  If you are struggling to buy food or other basic essentials, we encourage you to seek help and guidance through your local UCAN Centre.  Click here for further details.


Is Storehouse Pantry a food bank?

It is similar to a foodbank in that it is set up to help people who are struggling - but there are some differences. The Pantry has a membership scheme where members can visit each week for a fee of £2.50 and select a set number of items of their own choice from a wide selection.


What does Storehouse Pantry stock?

A lot of your kitchen cupboard favourites like cereal, tinned goods and pasta, fruit and vegetables, bread, cakes and toiletries.  From time to time there may also be chilled items, such as butter, cheese, prepared sandwiches, pasties and cooked meats available.


The pantry does not stock alcohol, or raw meat or fish for food safety reasons.


Is the stock good quality and in date?

Storehouse Pantry will never stock food that is past it’s ‘use by date’ as this could be harmful to health and it is against the law.  However, we do stock items that are past their ‘best before’ date.


The British Food Standards Agency says, “‘Best before’ dates are about quality, not safety.  Manufacturers put a best ‘before date’ on food packaging to indicate how long the food will be at its best quality.  When the date is passed, it doesn’t mean that the food will be harmful, but it may begin to lose its taste,   aroma or texture but still remains edible and safe”.


With regards to eggs, the advice is that providing they are cooked thoroughly (until both yolk and white are solid), or are used in dishes where they will be fully cooked such as a cake, they can be eaten a day or two after their ‘best before’ date.


Every year, in households across the UK, we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink, most of which could be consumed.  At Storehouse Pantry we encourage members to think carefully before throwing away food past its ‘best before’ date.


Where do the goods come from?

Urban Outreach coordinates and manages the supply of goods offered through Storehouse Pantry.


There are daily collections of short, end of life and damaged produce from food retail outlets across Bolton.  These are delivered to the Pantry on a weekly basis.


Donated items are also collected regularly through Grub Tubs and community and faith festivals, such as Harvest collections.  Many items on offer at the Pantry are received through these  generous food donations from members of the public.


Items are also purchased using Membership fees from national distribution charities such as 'Fareshare'. This is usually food which is in date and good to eat but has become surplus, for simple reasons such as over-production, labelling errors or short shelf-life.

During certain times of the year, some of the fresh food on offer may have also been received through local food growing projects.


What are membership fees used for?

The money received from membership fees is used to purchase stock, buy equipment and pay for running costs.


Can I make donations to Storehouse Pantry?

We are happy to receive donations of unwanted in-date groceries and locally grown food such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, which will be distributed to members in addition to the other goods available.


How long is my membership for?

Membership is for a defined period of time, depending on your individual circumstances.  Please refer to the Membership Guidelines here for more information.


How can I contact Storehouse Pantry?

There are a number of different ways to contact Storehouse Pantry and to keep up to date with the latest information:


facebook: storehousepantry

twitter: @shpantry

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