The Food Share Project, part of the Connect Aid CIC, has moved to an 8,000 sq ft retail unit at Rampart Court in central Telford after agreeing a lease deal with investment company LCP, which owns and manages the retail park.
The project, which was founded on September 20 last year by Lea Beven, distributes food to families and individuals who are in crisis. It receives tonnes of donations every week from Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Greggs, Asda and independent stores, as well as from the charity FareShare.
In August alone, it saved 34 tonnes of food from ending up in landfill and over the past few months, during the peak of the pandemic, helped to supply food for 53,000 people in Shropshire and Willenhall.
It had run a series of pop-up events at community centres from where it distributed food that had been donated by suppliers the previous evening.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and lockdown occurred, the project was offered temporary space at Park Lane Centre in Woodside, but as society began to re-open, and the community centre was able to re-open to the public, the project needed to find a new space that could accommodate its freezers, fridges and trolleys and the growing amount of produce that it receives. It also needed space for its four vans, which are used for “pop-up” food distribution services in local communities.
LCP stepped in to help the project, so it can continue its vital work to share overstock of fresh fruit and vegetables, chilled and ambient food, to support low-income families.
On Sunday, the project's first anniversary, the High Sheriff of Shropshire, Dean Harris, will cut the ribbon on the new building.