Charity wants to extend surplus food scheme with the aid of bakers Greggs

Members of the Huntingdon together team with their new fridge, from left: Macie Cameron-White, Emma

Members of the Huntingdon together team with their new fridge, from left: Macie Cameron-White, Emma Cameron, Mike Baker, chairman of the trustees,, Peter Levitt from Godmanchestser Foodbank, Adam Kunz and Ann Bunting, manager of Huntingdon Volunteer Centre - Credit: Archant

A charity which hands out surplus food to those in need in Huntingdon is to expand with the aid of a grant from high street bakers Greggs.

Huntingdon Together already provides surplus food from Greggs and Tesco at Stukeley Meadows and St Ives from its charity shop in Princes Street.

The shop has also been given funding by Godmanchester Foodbank to buy a special fridge to store material for its Surplus Share Food Scheme which has now been installed.

Manager Emma Cameron said she had been shocked by the plight that some people who used the service found themselves in.

“We have some families where both parents work, who may be on the minimum rate or are part-time because of the children, and are paying private rent, leaving them without enough money left to pay for food,” she said.

Emma said they were hoping to attract more of this type of customer and that the £1,250 Greggs donation would enable them to extend the scheme. The new fridge meant they would be able to store the donated food more professionally instead of having to use baskets by the till and an old fridge at the back of the shop.

“Our charity shop, Huntingdon Together, raises funds for Huntingdon Volunteer Centre which runs four community car schemes across the local area, Huntingdon, Ramsey, St Ives, and St Neots,” Emma said.

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“Our charity shop works with the foodbank and Citizens Advice Bureau to ensure people who need food help receive it.”

Emma said the food scheme started as a recycling project because they were keen to stop food waste but developed into its present form.

The shop has a team of volunteers who have taken on the role of collecting the surplus food from donor stores and it receives regular donations from members of the public.

It also enables keen gardeners who have grown too many of one type of vegetable to donate them or to swap them for something else.

Emma said: “We also had the exciting news that Greggs have given us a grant to grow and promote the scheme. They have been giving us their surplus food each evening, which is collected and bagged by our volunteers, since September last year.

“They have been fantastic but we are also helped by Tesco Stukeley Meadows and Tesco St Ives, and the general public.”