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Norwich church community pantry feeds hundreds

A Norwich church's free community pantry scheme has fed a record 211 people from 55 families in the last week as it expands to meet increased demands.

Gateway Vineyard Church, Norwich, has set up a new emergency food and essential household items project called The Pantry to meet growing need arising out of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Pantry provides food parcels, free of charge, to those who have found themselves affected by the current situation andperates on a self-referral basis. To request a food parcel, email

PantryLogo750Pantry founder, Katie Lillystone, said: "Every single week we have different teams working inside our Trowse headquarters, packing, sorting, counting and planning. People in their homes answering emails, families collecting donations in their local communities, delivery drivers from stores and food hubs bringing us food to distribute as well as our own delivery drivers taking out our parcels and lots of small people pitching in alongside all of these.

“Our food parcels are available to anyone on a self-referral basis. People who self-refer can send us an email directly, they will then be sent a link to fill in for the next available delivery or collection slot. In this form, people are able to choose which items they would like, including food, baby and household essentials.
“We aim to provide some fresh food as part of the parcel as well. We are a team of volunteers running the operation remotely and from our church offices in Trowse. We operate a click and collect service, as well as having an amazing team of delivery drivers who deliver parcels across the city and beyond.
“We love our city and we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people of Norwich. Jesus fed people, we see it in the feeding of the 5000, and that’s why we are doing this. We’re doing what Jesus would do and showing the love of God in a practical way during this time.”


Where do you operate: all over Norwich, mainly postcodes NR1 - NR8, if we have requests from further afield we will either refer to another service more locally or offer them a collection slot.
Address: Gateway Vineyard Church Offices, Trowse Sports Hall, Hudson Avenue, Trowse, NR14 8SP
Contact details: 01603 920045,
Our needs: We welcome food donations, both store cupboard essentials and fresh produce (fruit, veg, milk, cheese). Donations can be dropped off at our base in Trowse Sports Hall, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10-11am. Donations can also be made at The Place, Thorpe St Andrew from 9.30-10.30am We are also looking to borrow a large fridge, if any church or project has a spare one then please do get in touch.
How we can help other projects: We can signpost requests we get from particular areas to more local projects.

Published: 08/06/2020