Style Acre’s community larder at Howbery is bursting with goodness

A community larder, run by Style Acre (the charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and autism) from its Howbery Park office, is proving an extremely popular and worthwhile venture.

It was set up around a year ago for half a dozen Style Acre support workers, but now around 50 people access the larder on a weekly basis. Style Acre receives the supplies for the larder from another charity, Sofea, which distributes food industry surpluses, under the FareShare scheme. Didcot-based Sofea delivers food to 150 charities and community groups who typically use it to cook meals or snacks. A Style Acre community house receives a delivery, as well as supplies going to the larder at Howbery Park.

“FareShare is a great system as it reduces food waste, and offers cheaply priced food to those who are struggling,” explains Kerry Hughes, assistant manager at StyleAcre who set up the larder. “The boxes usually have enough variety to feed a family (excluding butter/milk and meat) for a week. Because of the coronavirus, boxes are currently pre-packed, but in normal times, for a donation to the charity of £2.50, people get 10 items, a loaf of bread, fruit and veg, or double that for £5. The food is usually good quality and still in date, and has been a godsend over the last few months. We have now reached capacity as we are already struggling to store all the goods.”

Meanwhile, as well as distributing the Fare Share food, Sofea has another charitable goal: supporting young people who have left school without qualifications. The young people have a chance to retake qualifications, develop life skills, and help with warehousing and delivering the food parcels.