Christmas cheer filled The Pantry, Curo’s foodbank in Midsomer Norton, on Tuesday, 19th December. Visitors enjoyed festive nibbles, games and a raffle with prizes donated by many local businesses.


Curo customers from 26 households came along to join in the fun, ranging from young families to older, retired people. Among them was Lyn Marsh who regularly attends The Pantry with her friends and neighbours from Temple Cloud. She said, “It’s a really, really lovely experience. It’s somewhere to come for an hour every week, and we all look forward to it. It’s so important to have places like this, especially in rural areas.”


For Laurence Encicott, The Pantry has helped provide a glimmer of light during a difficult time. “It has been a rough year,” he said. “I lost my partner earlier in the year, and I was really struggling. Someone from Curo suggested that I could come here, and it has been marvellous. I can’t thank them enough really.”


The Pantry is open every Tuesday morning from 10am to 1pm for Curo customers to come and stock up on food from the foodbank and chat to Curo’s Customer Accounts team who are always on hand to offer practical advice on money matters. This week there were also extra treats and gifts available in the foodbank, thanks to a delivery of more than £250 worth of products from Midsomer Norton Lions club, and donations from Curo colleagues.


The Pantry project was organised by Regional Accounts Manager Emma Newman, and first opened its doors in August 2023. Since then, its popularity has continued to grow with more and more customers attending.

She said, “The Pantry just keeps growing, and it’s word of mouth that’s making it grow. For seven of the households who came on Tuesday it was the first time they had visited The Pantry. It’s so much more than just a foodbank – it’s also about removing isolation. It’s rewarding to see people mixing together and enjoying themselves. We look around and see people smiling, and that’s what we want.”


“It’s so rewarding to be able to give our residents some joy,” added Customer Accounts Advisor, Libby James. “There are people here that maybe didn’t stay long the first time they came, but now they come and they chat to us and to other residents.”


Customer Account Advisor Pat Mills said, “It has been a wonderful success and the feedback we get is really positive.”


“We would especially like to thank everyone who donated, including Midsomer Norton Lions, No. 10 Café, Hair Razor, Meadgate Café, Beauty Bar, Travis Perkins and Dog Lovers Café,” added Emma.