What is the Pantry?

It can be very hard for both people and businesses to avoid food waste, so the Community Pantry has been set up to act as an easy to use food sharing hub for everyone.

Who can use the Pantry?

Anybody from the North Tyne and Redesdale area can use the Pantry - either taking what they can use or putting in what they don’t need for someone else to use. It’s totally free - we just ask you put in anything you might waste (see guidelines below) and only take what you can use. Look out for regular updates on our Facebook page about what you’ll find in the Pantry!

If you are a food business who would like to get involved, reduce your waste and get some extra advertising, please contact us at pantry@ntrcp.org and we can provide more information and support.


What can be put into the Pantry?

If you’re an individual, we can take:

Unopened, prepackaged food or drinks. This will typically involve anything which:

  • Has reached its Best Before End date. We can still take most packaged foods which have reached their Best Before End date (or are even a little over the Best Before End)
  • Still has 24 hours left on a use-by date
  • Packed or unpackaged fruit or vegetables which would be wasted, but which are still in usable condition

Unfortunately, due to regulations, we cannot take:

  • Food that you have prepared yourself
  • Cooked food from a kitchen which does not have a food hygiene certificate of at least 4 stars
  • Chilled food that has not been kept below 5C during storage and transport
  • Unpasteurised milk
  • Cooked rice
  • Raw milk cheeses
  • Pate
  • Bean sprouts
  • Products which contain any of the above ingredients
  • Alcohol (we know - we’re no fun!)

If you’re a food business and you’d like to reduce your food waste and get involved, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at pantry@ntrcp.org to discuss participating.


What can I take from the Pantry?

You can take whatever you can use - it’s free of charge.

However, please make sure that you:

  • Do not take or consume any item that appears past it’s use-by date
  • Do not take or consume any item that smells off or appears suspicious for any reason
  • Do not take unpackaged prepared food items without a complete list of ingredients and allergens


You have a food allergy (we can’t guarantee there has been no contamination of opened products. If you have known food allergies you should avoid the use of this Community Pantry due to the risk posed by food recalls and the potential risk of cross-contamination.

You have a vulnerable immune system (the elderly, infants under 5, expectant women or individuals with a serious or long-term medical condition may be especially at risk).

Do not take food from the fridge if the temperature seems to be abnormal/check the thermometer reading and review the temperature log sheet for the week if in doubt (which can be found on the side of the fridge.)

Only take prepared food that has been cooked or prepared by certified businesses. The label should state the preparation date, ingredients, use by date and the name of the business


Where is the Pantry?

You can find us opposite the gift shop along Lock-up Lane in Bellingham.


When will the Pantry be open?

We aim to open between 8am and 6pm, 7 days a week, though times may sometimes vary a little.


How can I get involved?

We are volunteer run, and if you’d like to help out, just let us know. As a thank you for volunteering we will pay for you to get a level 2 Food Hygiene certificate (great for a CV!).


Legal stuff - the disclaimer:

Although we have put in place precautions to safeguard the hygiene and quality of all items in the Community Pantry, we may not be able to guarantee and verify all items donated to the fridge. Although the risk of cross-contamination is low, it is not zero. Users take food at their own risk and the Community Pantry is not liable for any harm caused to the Pantry user in the event of products being contaminated.

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