The Gardeners Arms pub has teamed up with Liverpool Zero Waste Community CIC, a local charity that collects surplus food from various supermarkets and distributes out to the community.
Publican Sam Jones first came across the charity’s Facebook page and immediately reached out to see if she could help. Offering up the pub as a pick-up location for food parcels to be collected, she quickly became involved with the group’s campaign to help the community and save food from going to waste.
Now a volunteer for the charity, Sam hosts a weekly pop-up inside the pub where community members can bring a bag and help themselves to pastries, chilled goods, and fresh vegetables.
“It’s always been a worry of mine that older members of the community may struggle to get food,” said Sam, “The pub is close-by to high-rise flats and sheltered accommodation, and if you don’t have the support or family around you, some people may struggle to get out to the shops.
“When I saw the Liverpool Zero Waste Community CIC post, I immediately reached out to see if I could get involved. It’s a fantastic initiative, and it feels so good to give back to the community, especially during the cost of living crisis.”
The charity collaborates with various supermarket chains that provide surplus food, which is distributed to local volunteers and drop-off centres, like The Gardeners Arms. Members of the community can then take their own bag along or pick up a pre-made bag, completely free of charge.
Sam continued: “People are often too worried to admit they need help or are embarrassed to reach out, but this is nothing to be ashamed of.
“We’ve only been running this for a few weeks, and already we’ve seen so many new faces. Two ladies came from another village last week, I asked them how they knew about us, and a friend had told them about what we were doing. It’s really catching on, considering I wasn’t sure how many people would come along, after each drop-in all we’ve had left is empty tables – it’s great!”
A huge advocate for helping others, Sam is often thinking of the important role her pub and the team plays at being the heart of the community. She has successfully run various days out and is currently transforming the pub’s generous garden to offer a social space for people to gather, sit and enjoy each other’s company.
“I like to do different things for the community; it’s not all about drinking beer,” said Sam. “I want to offer something for everyone, you don’t have to come to the pub for an alcoholic drink; it’s much more than that. This is a place where you can enjoy a hot drink, socialise with friends, or plan a day out. Last month we took a group of 35 to Chester races, and I’m planning another day trip very soon.”
Anybody who would like to know more about the scheme can reach out directly to the Liverpool Zero Waste Community CIC Facebook page or visit the Gardeners Arms page to check out their weekly food offerings.