Shrewsbury Food Hub dishes out 32 tons of shop food to community groups
Volunteers in Shrewsbury dished out 32 tonnes of surplus supermarket food to community groups last year.
In 2017, Shrewsbury Food Hub stepped up its operation by getting more supermarkets on board and recruiting more volunteers.
Katy Anderson, founder of the charity, said the food collected last year was enough to make 76,000 meals.
She said: "We collect surplus food from 12 stores and it’s all good quality food but may be past its 'best before' date.
"Sixty per cent of the food we collect is fruit and veg, 35 pre cent is bread and the remainder is store cupboard food like cereals, canned and dried food.
"We get that to community groups like the Ark, Food Bank Plus, Severn Hospice, schools and playgroups. It makes a real difference to the groups, saving them money on their food budget so that they can do more. We save the hospice 30 per cent of their food budget."
There is now a team of 40 drivers who get up at dawn every morning, except Saturday, to harvest leftover food from supermarkets and then re-distribute it.
In December alone, the team gave out six-and-a-half tonnes of food - enough for more than 15,000 meals.
On December 28, they collected 1.6 tonnes of potatoes, sprouts, parsnips and other Christmas goods. It was all taken to a special redistribution point at Riversway Elim Church, Shrewsbury, where families were invited to come along and fill a bag free of charge.
Katy added: "We thought there would be quite a lot of food, so we had organised for about 10 cars to collect, but once we realised quite how much was coming we called everyone we could in, bringing in the biggest cars and even a camper van.
"In the end 17 volunteers brought their cars in to help. It was amazing, but we’re hoping that a local gym might be able to help us with the lifting next year."
The Food Hub supports not for profit community groups. For more information visit shrewsburyfoodhub.org.uk