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Repton Community Trust's People's Pantry

Repton Community Trust - Helping the community one parcel at a time

Published: 19/10/2021

Repton Community Trust are a Kent based charity dedicated to "putting the heart in communities" by working with the community in and around Ashford. The Trust runs Repton Connect Community Centre which opened in October 2018 and has become a well-loved, impactful addition to the community.

In late 2019, the project know as ‘People’s Pantry’ was born. Originally started by 70 members of the community on a Facebook group, it developed into a collaboration between the trust and the community turning it into an ongoing project that has a bright future of helping and supporting the whole borough.

The People’s Pantry started as a community fridge which helped food insecurity and reduced food waste. From there the trust incorporated a dry food cupboard to ensure individuals could have a range of supplies if they needed it.

Not long after, Covid-19 started and the demand for their services increased dramatically – this meant that the community trust had to think of a long-term solution to help donate food and supplies to hundreds of people instead of the individual. As the Covid-19 pandemic evolved, so did the Trust's approach to supporting people. This is where the idea of a parcel box solution became the goal and when they contacted The Safety Letterbox Company.

The People's Pantry at Repton Connect
The solution they needed had to be safe for not only the community, but also their staff. It needed to be available 24/7 and able to keep up with the high demand through the pandemic and beyond. This would indeed reduce risks and help solve the problems they were currently facing.

Repton Community Trust received National Lottery community funding and decided to put the money towards a community Modula myRENZbox, manufactured by The Safety Letterbox Company, which provided a safe storage place for food and hygiene products.

myRENZbox is a dynamic parcel box solution that incorporates technology, accessibility, and efficiency. This future proof technology is at the forefront of parcel management, saving time and providing the ultimate all in one integrated solution. The People’s Pantry is available 24/7, ensuring that there is emergency access to food anytime of the year and anytime of day.

This contactless, convenient Click & Collect system was installed October 2020, and has provided a safe way for people in need to access essential items. Since installing the solution, the people’s pantry has helped over 1600 people and donated over £11,000 worth of supplies.

Beth Rice, Executive Director of Repton Community Trust said:

"The parcel box solution has been a real game changer for us. Giving people access to food 24 hours a day, even during public holidays has been amazing.

"We received a referral late on Christmas Eve and were able to provide a family with food in under an hour. We are so pleased The Safety Letter Box Company were willing to listen to the ideas of a small charity and work with us all the way through the design process and beyond. Thank you from myself, the team and our users!"

Alison Orrells, CEO and MD of The Safety Letterbox Company said:

“It is great to see our myRENZbox systems being used to provide such benefits within the community. It really shows how an innovative and future proofed product can provide simple and highly effective benefits to everyone, everywhere and we really commend Repton Community Trust on their foresight and use of innovation to solve such a growing problem”.

Media release courtesy of The Safety Letterbox Company Ltd ( RENZ UK ) and Repton Community Trust

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