CALSTOCK Parish Council is looking at teaming up with a local food charity to help supply surplus food to those in need in the Tamar Valley.
The new partnership aims to provide food boxes to individuals and families at a reduced cost, whilst also preventing food waste.
The scheme would be delivered via Devon and Cornwall Food Action, a local charity that works with food producers and supermarkets to redistribute surplus food to those in need. Through their various schemes, produce is distributed to those that have been identified as being in need and the Parish Council are now looking at how they can work with the charity.
Parish clerk, Clare Bullimore said: “The Devon and Cornwall Food Action Group is keen to set up a network in our parish and we are exploring ways to do this. The charity is able to supply a box of food for £20 but that is actually worth £80.
“The food is all within date but has been overproduced and would otherwise be put in landfill.
“This scheme is not only useful for those on budgets but has a positive environmental impact by reducing waste.
“Although the food will vary weekly, there is always fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy items, pies and pasties and store cupboard items.”
The project is in its early stages and the council is trying to identify if there is a need in the parish.
Clare explained that the council is working with local schools and community groups to help it to find people who may benefit from the scheme and to also help promote it.
Adding: “It is not straight forward in a rural area, but we are looking into it.”
At the most recent full council meeting, the item was raised and councillors were in support of the idea.
Councillor Tracy Ledger who is fronting the project explained that she paid a visit to Harrowbarrow Primary School to engage where the need would be and proceeded to explain that there were over 20 children in receipt of free school meals that could benefit from the scheme. Emphasising that the charity are keen to direct the food boxes to people in need.
Cllr Ledger said: “It will be led by the community as needed.”
Councillor Alex Polglase coordinator of Callington Foodbank expressed support for the proposal and said : “I’m very happy to support this. I think initally approaching the schools and coffee mornings as a trial run would be the best approach.”
Some councillors commented on the benefits of the scheme for the community, and also the environment as a measure to prevent food waste.
‘This food would be incinerated, so you are saving that food from going to waste’, said Cllr Ledger.
Councillor Phil Spurr echoed Cllr Ledger’s views but also touched on the wider issue of food poverty: “I’m encouraged by the environmental aspect. But are we normalising poverty?”