what we do
We work with communities to help reduce food waste and provide affordable food
Working with local organisations and volunteers we build and help sustain community pantries that provides a helping hand to those that need it within our communities. We aim to promote good mental health, support the environment and eradicate food poverty.
Helping Reduce Waste
By working with local organisations, Fareshare Cymru and a variety of supermarkets we have managed to save approximately 80 tonnes of food from going into landfill to date.
Our Purple Bags ensure that our members receive quality affordable food for only £5 per bag. On average our bags contains up to 15 items to help fill up your cupboards and make meals.
Promoting Good Wellbeing
Baobab Bach works with a variety of statuary and third sector partners. Throughout our 14 pantries we have wellbeing cafes and safe spaces for a chat and a cuppa.
Working Closely With Communities We Have Achieved So Much
Since the beginning of this project we have supplied thousands of bags food, helped feed many families and have saved tonnes of food from going into landfill. As we continue to grow we hope that these efforts continue to impact our communities for the best. Take a look below at what we have achieved so far.
TONNES OF FOOD DISTRIBUTED
BAGS HANDED OUT
Meet John and Alison, Founders of Baobab Bach
Approximately one week before the first Welsh and UK coronavirus pandemic lockdown, three of us, under a different company name, won a contract with Bridgend County Council’s Reach Rural Development, to work with community venues, developing sustainability.
When the pandemic hit, community venues were closed, with no sign of re-opening, and many struggled to keep paying their bills. People were also struggling at home, especially in the rural communities of the Bridgend valleys. Many people were working reduced hours or on furlough. Others lost their jobs. Those who relied on a lift to the shop could no longer share a car due to coronavirus restrictions, others were scared to go out or use public transport and with the long distances involved in getting to the shops from some valley areas, accessing food was challenging. Food security is a complex matter with many factors, especially during a pandemic.
We talked to the people in the rural communities, managers of community venues and professionals such as the Local Community Coordinators and Social Landlords. We ascertained that many people would prefer to buy food and ‘pay their way;’ they needed affordable, accessible food but did not want free food or ‘handouts.’
Reach Rural Development agreed to support us in developing a Community Pantry pilot project. We were able to open community venues for the essential business of supplying food. A supply of surplus foods, food that would otherwise be wasted and go to landfill, was organised from FareShare Cymru, and 4 pantries were opened in Bridgend valley locations in October 2020, offering a big bag of mixed foods for £5.
The pantries quickly grew in number; various organisations and venues approached us about the pantries with the result that 12 were established by May 2021. By September 2021 we had distributed in excess of 45 tonnes of surplus food. The system is sustainable in that each £5 fee paid pays for the next week’s delivery of food, then any surplus funds are used to cover the venue’s expenses, heating, lighting, etc. plus any volunteer expenses.
In September 2021, we began to work in partnership with Linc Cymru and were awarded funding via the Welsh Government in relation to the European Transition Fund 2021 to 2022 – Tackling Food Poverty and Addressing Food Insecurity. With the help of this funding, wellbeing cafes were introduced in some Community Pantries, with volunteers signposting clients to a variety of partners who can offer support. Partners began to attend the Community Pantries to offer support. At the same time, a Community Interest Company, ‘Baobab Bach’ was formed to further develop the Community Pantry network into the future.
The pantry network continues to expand and develop. At time of writing, there are 13 Community Pantries in Bridgend County with 3 more in the planning stages. In addition, it is intended to ‘roll out’ the Community Pantries and Wellbeing Cafes into other counties in South Wales.
Further development of wellbeing services, production of useful recipes, encouraging cooking from scratch, growing fruit and vegetables plus other ways of achieving inexpensive balanced nutrition in the community are all priorities for Baobab Bach moving forward.
We welcome anyone who wishes to volunteer with us. Training is given and references may be required. Please see our volunteer page.
Thing That Are Important To Us.
We want to create an environment where eveyone who walks through our doors feel welcomed, secure and are treated equally. This approach allows us to engage with the whole community on one level ensuring everyone gets the support they need and has access to all the services on offer.
One of our main goals as a CIC is to make sure that everything we do is as environmentally friendly as possible. This is why we have such a focus on sustainability and reusability. Efforts like this have led to us integrating re-usable purple bags which have now become an icon of our organisation.
Get In Touch!
Give us a call, drop us an email or fill in the form on the other side of the button below. We will get back to you ASAP.