A reminder of why our pantry is so important right now

Jani here – I’ve just been catching up on emails after being in the kitchen making soup yesterday. I wanted to share one of them with you. I have also shared the recipe for the soup to our Patreon supporters here.

Somebody who works for the local Steps to Wellbeing contacted us, asking for more details about the pantry. They said that they are getting ‘more and more clients who are struggling to live on Universal Credit now that energy prices are rising and the uplift has ended.”

Asking for more info on when the pantry is open and what we provide, they said  “It might be a Godsend for some of my clients.”

We anticipate our pantry being very much needed over the winter, so thank you to every one of our supporters who enable us to keep it open and stocked up! 

Support the pantry with a regular donation by joining our Patreon community here.

Make a one-off donation of a hot drink, meal or groceries here.

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Covid update

Quick #Covid update: we have never dropped masking or social distancing in our space, so we will continue to limit numbers, keep performance times short with ventilation breaks and encourage masking and lateral flow testing. We are keeping an eye on the local situation to decide how we run events this winter, but anticipate keeping these measures in place until spring unless things improve unexpectedly over the coming months.

Some of our upcoming events will be more self-directed in terms of how people choose to sit / stand, rather than set tables/seating in bubbles as earlier in the year, but there will be space to stand away from others or move your seating to facilitate distancing. Where practical we have doors open front and back during events, and CO2 monitoring and extraction to make sure ventilation is good.

Take care everyone! ❤️

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About our Community Pantry

A one minute video introducing you to our Community Pantry and how you can support it.

Find out more here

Posted in Behind the scenes, Community news & views, Covid Updates, Events, Fundraising, Getting involved, Our philosophy | Leave a comment

Jani’s birthday!

Jani is one of the founding directors of The Art House and has been co-running the space since we started in 2008.

It’s their birthday today and they have asked those wish to show some birthday love to do so in the form of donating the price of a card or slice of cake to our pantry. The target it to cover the £575 we just paid for our supermarket surplus deliveries until the end of November, and will give us over 1000kgs of food to share with our community.

You can pay forward here or just use our Paypal, we’ll tally it all up and report back tomorrow once Jani has enjoyed a day off for their birthday shenanigans!

If you can afford to chip a few pounds in, this would be a wonderful show of support – thank you!

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What’s on – Spooky Season edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again and we have lots going on to get you enjoying the spooky season.

Thursday 21 October

Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm

Red Tent wisdom & sharing circle for women and nonbinary people
7 – 10pm, more details and booking here


Friday 22 October

Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm

Rory McLeod live in person and online
Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm
More details and booking here


Saturday 23 October
Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm

The Travelling Talesman presents: The End of the World as we know it (in person & online)
Doors 7.30pm, show starts 8pm
More details and booking here


Sunday 24 October
Cafe open 12 – 4pm

Hampshire Vegan Catering Sunday roast pop-up
1pm & 3pm sittings, pre-booking only – more details and booking here


Wednesday 27 October

Sapphic Cafe Halloween Fashion Show
7 – 10pm
Spaces limited – please book here


Thursday 28 October
Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm



Friday 29 October
Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm


Moving Voices poetry & song open mic (in person & online)
With host RKP and special guests Typhoidmary and Mollie Russell
More details and booking here


Saturday 30 October
Community cafe & pantry open 11am – 3pm

Granfalloon – positive songs tour
In person with exclusive livestream to our Patreon community only
7.30pm doors / 8pm show starts
More details and booking here


Sunday 31 October

Hannah James & Toby Khun with (optional) pre show vegan roast
Doors 3.30pm, show starts 4pm
More details and booking here

Posted in Events, Local music, What's on | Leave a comment

Our approach to veganism in our pantry

Waste and purity, or practicality? On our approach to supplying vegan food in our pantry.

Each week we have a delivery of supermarket surplus food diverted from bins, which we redistribute. Although most of it is vegan, occasionally non-vegan things slip into our delivery, as the volunteers who prepare our pallets aren’t always clear on what is and is not vegan.

We have decided that it is better this non- vegan food go to folks who need food than to be thrown away.

We never buy any non-vegan ingredients or products ourselves, nor do we cook with anything non-vegan in our kitchen, however we have a pragmatic view of preventing food waste.

A great many of the street community and others who use our pantry are not vegan and are happy to use non-vegan food when we get it, so if you see the occasional non-vegan item in the pantry, this is why!

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An important change to our Patreon

Our community pantry and community cafe events have become very important services locally since the start of the pandemic. We anticipate that, with the end of the furlough scheme, drop in Universal Credit and rising prices of energy, fuel and food, our community are going to need these services more than ever over the coming year.

We are lucky to currently have 46 Patreon supporters, as well as regular supporters via PayPal and direct to our bank account. We have made the decision to focus all of our Patreon fundraising on keeping the pantry and community cafe events financially viable.

Each level has the same rewards – in keeping with our values of making what we do as accessible as possible – and each level directly supports the pantry in very tangible ways.

If you are a supporter, you do not need to do anything, your regular amount remains the same!

Rewards

We are introducing access to our live music events online for all Patreon supporters and those who support with regular payments through other channels and will be adding other benefits as time goes on, as well as keeping you updated with Patreon-only posts, videos and lives in our private patrons Facebook group. Whatever amount you give each month, you will have this access.

The levels of support start at £2.50 per month, with amounts to suit all budgets.

We know that regular amounts can be difficult for many to commit to, so our pay-it-forward ‘shop’ will remain active for folks to make one-off donations when they can, too. There are lots of other ways to support and donate, too.

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What’s on September 2021

Wednesday 1 September
Kerbside pantry 2 – 4pm
Evening cafe drop-in 7 – 9pm
Book club 7pm

Thursday 2 September
Community cafe and pantry 11am – 3pm
Drinks, cakes, snacks, pay-as-you feel groceries, toiletries and clothing

Saturday 4 September & Sunday 5 September
Community cafe and pantry 11am – 3pm
Vegan lunches, cakes, drinks & snacks

Wednesday 8 September
Kerbside community pantry 2 – 4pm

Thursday 9 September 
Community cafe & pantry drop-in 11am – 3pm
Drinks, cakes, snacks, pay-as-you feel groceries, toiletries and clothing

Friday 10 September
Community cafe & pantry drop-in 11am – 3pm

Saturday 11 September
Community cafe & pantry drop-in 11am – 3pm

7.30 doors/8pm start
Adam Scott Glasspool live music

Wednesday 15 September 
Kerbside community pantry, 2 – 4pm
Sapphic Salon & Social 7 – 10pm

Thursday 16 – Saturday 18 September
Community cafe & pantry drop-in
Drinks, cakes, snacks, pay-as-you feel groceries, toiletries and clothing

Red Tent wisdom and sharing circle 7 – 10pm (in person)

Wednesday 22 September
Kerbside community pantry 2 – 4pm

Thursday 23 – Saturday 25 September
Community Cafe and pantry drop-in 11am – 3pm

Friday 24 September
Moving Voices poetry and song open mic

Wednesday 29 September
Kerbside community pantry 2 – 4pm

Thursday 30 September – Saturday 2 October
Community cafe and pantry drop-in

Posted in Events, Local music, What's on | Leave a comment

What’s changed? 2021 update

In early 2020, before the pandemic, we held a fundraiser to allow us to step back, repurpose and redesign how we ran The Art House. You can watch us talking about this here

We raised £25K at the end of February 2020 thanks to the generous support of our community!

Before we could come up for air after all that, the public were advised to avoid spaces like ours in mid March and, to facilitate this, we took the decision to close one week before lockdown.

Since then we have been providing meals and groceries to our community, spreading the word about local and global issues relating to Covid and wider social justice, and running online events and, when allowed, socially distanced events here in the space.

In the background, we redesigned our space into the post-apocalyptic #Bunker178 performance space with the ability to continue live streaming shows from our space post lockdown.

We’re also continuing to run our community pantry and are open for community cafe social time three days a week.

Our original business model of opening full time as a veggie and then vegan cafe, providing food which was very hard to find in Southampton when we started, as a way of generating income, was not working before the pandemic. Increased provision of vegan food (which is good news and we’re pleased about it) made the market more competitive and trying to keep up was eating away at our ability to focus on the art and community events that we were set up to run.

We don’t think it is likely to have changed now, so our focus from here on will be on events, workshops, being a meeting space, running our community pantry and being a more flexible, responsive space to what is needed at any given time.

Our new space being used for a delicious performance by local poets and musicians

We know some folks will really miss our menu, so we have teamed up with Hampshire Vegan Catering, aka John Pellegrini, who worked for us as a chef before leaving to focus on his own business and is still based in house to provide food for some of our events, does regular pop up food events like Sunday lunches and high teas, and can also cater for your outside events. He also has a cookbook featuring some of your favourites from The Art House and more!

We will also run our own community food events from time to time, check our calendar for details.

Please watch this space as we reopen, rediscover ourselves and figure out what the future looks like for The Art House.

You can support our transformation, particularly the community pantry, and get behind the scenes updates, free access to online shows and more by joining our Patreon community here.

Bid farewell to this signage as it will be changing in August to better reflect our new identity!
Posted in Behind the scenes, Community news & views, Covid Updates, Events, Fundraising, Future plans, Getting involved, Our history, Our philosophy, Want to do what we've done in your town?, What's on | Leave a comment

Happy birthday to our Community Pantry!

One year ago, we had our first delivery of surplus food diverted from waste and set up a stall outside our space, which was still closed due to the first lockdown.

Since then we have redistributed more than 12 tonnes of food to hundreds of people. Thanks to donations from our community of £1712, £4155 from our Patreon supporters and a Lottery grant of £10,000 we have been able to run the pantry three days a week, buy equipment needed like fridges and spread the word out what we’re doing.

Thank you so much if you are one of our Patreon supporters or somebody who has paid forward pantry items.

Other ways you can help:

We are looking for donations of clean, empty reusable water bottles (not empty single use bottles) so we can give out water, also sun hats and sunscreen please! 

You can pop these in when we are open, please don’t leave anything outside when we are closed as we could get into trouble for things left on the pavement. 

Thursday 11am – 3pm
Friday 11am – 3pm
Saturday 11am – 3pm

If you can’t make it in, we’re taking donations online to support our pantry and help us to continue running this facility, you can donate here. During the heatwave we’ll be using ‘paid forward hot drinks’ to fund water bottles and toiletries donations to buy sunscreen (we’ll update the online shop to reflect this soon, please bear with us!). 

Vee, Gill, Jani, Ziggy, Jessica, David, Alys, Salma – and Devin and Graham behind the scenes/admin crew. 

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