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Setting Up a Food Project

On this page you will find information and support if you are considering setting up a food project.

It is important to think carefully about the type of project you want to set up and what will best suit the needs of the people you want to help. Therefore we have included information about different types of project to help you make this decision, as well as a range of other information and resources to help you with the practicalities of setting up a food project.

Types of Food Project

When we talk about food projects most people will think of the traditional food bank model , where those in need are referred or given a voucher to receive a pre-packed parcel of food to last them for a period of time.

However, nowadays there are lots of different types of food projects available as well as traditional food banks. All of them aim to support their local community to access food in some way.

Below are some descriptions of different types of food project you may come across. Some projects may be a cross over between 2 different models.

You can also din more information about different food project models on the Sustain website here

Top Up / Pop Up Shop

Food is laid out on tables like a shop.

Customers pay a small amount to fill a bag with food items.

There may be limits on the number of items you can take from each table.

Some projects may offer a mixture of long life and fresh products, as well as household cleaning and hygiene products.

Community Larder / Fridge / Pantry

These may be manned or unmanned.

The food is often free to access.


Social Supermarket

Food items are laid out like a shop and they are individually priced.

The prices are usually a lot lower than you would pay in a regular shop.

Community Meals

Some local communities offer a weekly meal at a reduced cost or for free.

Some encourage people to meet and cook together then share the

It is worth finding out if there is something like this local to you.  Common places these happen are local churches and community centres.

Growing Projects

This can include things like community gardens, orchards and allotments.

These projects are usually about people having the space to grow and share produce, and also learning skills to grow their own food.

Cooking Skills

This includes a wide variety of different projects such as:

  • how to prepare and cook ingredients
  • Slow cooker / microwave projects
  • Cooking on a budget
  • Cooking with limited facilities
  • Meal planning

Resources and Tools for Setting Up a Food Project

Below are some resources and toolkits to help you find out more about different types of project and develop your plan for setting up a food project. This will be added to as we create more resources.

These resources are designed to help you get started and touch upon various topics and things you will need to consider. We strongly recommend ensuring you have fully explored different options and how to go about setting up your project.

CAS can support you with setting up a new project. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Setting up an unstaffed community pantry/larder/fridge

Funding Factsheet for Food Projects

Feeding Britain: Affordable Food Clubs (includes toolkits, blogs about rural food projects and examples of different project models)

Sustain: Growing Community Food Enterprises Toolkit ( a useful toolkit with information and support on different aspects of setting up and running a community food project)