Oscari is running a community pantry in Riddings, Alfreton

Oscari reflects on 2022 and reveals how it will be supporting families this Christmas

Posted by: Laura Hammond

Wed 30th November 2022

Oscari  has long been supporting families in Riddings and this year it opened its first community pantry, where members could do their weekly food shop at a fraction of its normal cost.

Tracy Gibson, of Oscari, reflects on the last year and reveals how the group will be supporting local families this Christmas.

As Christmas approaches and we start to think about celebrating with loved ones and feasting on delights, we at Oscari are also doing the same but in a different way I suppose.

We are looking back on how things have changed. We started off with a small vision to open a community pantry and back then there was only four of us.

The pantry itself was an enormous effort and as we have gone through the months, we have gained some amazing volunteers – 10 volunteers to be exact  with more people wanting to join – or as we call them, FAMILY.

Our pantry has gained over 170 families who come along and shop with us, telling us their joys and their sorrows and slowly but surely becoming friends and loved as part of the Oscari family.

We have had many trials and errors and have successfully come out of the other end with a fully working community pantry, which loves and supports the people of Amber Valley.

Looking towards Christmas, we have a toy appeal and are hoping to make as many as 200 hampers for those who would otherwise go without.

So many hours have been put in, filling in application forms to secure funding and it’s all a huge team effort.

None more so than when their team leader was hospitalised for five weeks and away from the team for two months. Everyone stepped up incredibly and continued the amazing work that Oscari is known for.

So heading into Christmas, we shan’t forget the forgotten and we shall strive to make as many families’ Christmas a truly special one.

With a little bit of hope, a pinch of manpower and a whole lot of love, great things can happen.

Our last pantry before Christmas will be December 20 and on Christmas Eve, from roughly 5.30pm until 7pm, we shall be holding a mass food give away.

This is food donated from Aldi and Lidl and includes meats, vegetables and cakes.

Everyone is welcome to come along and help themselves. Again in the spirit of giving and receiving, we do this for the love of our community.

You can find out more about Oscari by visiting its Facebook page.