David Wheater lends a helping hand at Storehouse Pantry

Central defender pays special visit to local community food project to support the work of Bolton at Home and Urban Outreach

Defender David Wheater visited a community food project in Johnson Fold on Wednesday evening to present residents with free tickets for Wanderers’ upcoming clash against Middlesborough, whilst packing their bags for them.
The Storehouse Pantry, located downstairs at The Hope Centre at St Andrew’s Church on Tattersall Avenue, provides a wide choice of fresh and tinned foods to help local residents who may not be entitled to food bank vouchers. It is open Tuesdays (10am-12noon) and Wednesdays (5.30pm-7.00pm), and people can choose up to 15 items on each visit for a £2.50 weekly membership fee that contributes to the running of the project. 

The pantry was developed through a partnership between Bolton at Home, Urban Outreach and St Peter’s Parish in Halliwell, and is run by church volunteers and Bolton at Home staff. The stock is donated from Urban Outreach’s ‘grub tubs’; Fare Share, which distributes surplus food destined for waste; and also comes from supermarkets, bakeries and even local residents growing their own produce. 

Wheater joined Bolton Wanderers' Community Ambassador Tony Kelly to see the pantry in action and find out how members benefit. The pair also filled members’ shopping bags and dished out tickets for the big game.  

Speaking about the visit, Wheater said: “It’s great to visit projects that are making a difference to communities in Bolton and meet the people involved. I think the pantry is a brilliant way of helping people and makes good use of food that could potentially go to waste.”
Phil Mason, Head of the Community Trust, added: “The pantry is a project very much at the heart of a community and it’s clearly making a massive difference to local people and their quality of life. It’s also superb to see people from the area volunteering to help out their neighbours.”

Lisa Bradley, Community Development Officer at Bolton at Home, said: “Since opening five months ago, we’ve grown to 150 members. And thanks to our partnerships, we can offer plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, which traditional food banks don’t. We also deliver a neighbourhood service from the pantry to help people in more ways. This includes helping people to reduce their household bills and resolve their money worries.”  
Overall, BWFC will donate 1,500 tickets for the league match on Saturday 16 April to Bolton at Home customers engaged in services and active in their communities. The club and the Community Trust have made the game their annual community match fixture, recognising their partnership with Bolton at Home, and players will wear a special Bolton at Home shirt.
The community match is the latest initiative from the partnership, which has encouraged thousands of young people to get involved in sport, education and volunteering opportunities.

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