Holsworthy Food Hub celebrated its official opening by inviting local dignitaries to visit the project and see how it works.

Families or individuals living in Holsworthy will now have access to their own food hub which has just been launched (July 7) and celebrated by the cutting of ribbon and sharing cake with guests, volunteers, and customers. 

The deputy mayor Cllr Debbie De Ste Croix cut the ribbon and declared the project officially open.

The hub is an affordable food club that is free to join, aimed at people on low incomes or struggling financially. 

The project received start-up funding of £2,990 from social housing provider, LiveWest and a Growing Communities Grant of £730 from Devon County Council. 

LiveWest developed and funded Holsworthy Food Hub to help local LiveWest residents and other residents stretch their budgets during the cost-of-living crisis.

Leanda Flower, community investment manager from LiveWest, attended the opening to speak about LiveWest’s commitment to local communities and discover more about the important project. 

Leanda said: “This is a brilliant scheme to have for the town, I was surprised at how much food customers could get for their five-pound bag including many household staples including meat, fresh fruit and veg. I would definitely recommend this project to people who are struggling with the rising cost of food.”

The scheme aims to provide £15 worth of food for £5. Individuals in households of up to three people can buy one bag, households with four people or more can buy two bags for £10 providing up to £30 worth of food. And households with seven or more people can buy three bags for £15 providing up to £45 worth of food.

LiveWest has worked in partnership with a number of different organisations to bring this to the community.  These include Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, TTVS, Holsworthy Food Bank, Northern Devon Food bank, Trussell Trust, Holsworthy Methodist Church, FareShare and One Small Step. 

Melissa Trudgill, community engagement manager from Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said: “It’s been a real pleasure to work with LiveWest in setting up Holsworthy Food Hub. Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust is always committed to caring not only for the children in our schools but the families and community around them. 

“This project provides a much-needed service for the local community and provides not only good value food but also an inviting friendly space for a cup of tea and a biscuit, support and a social space.”

Alison Skinner, community developer for Holsworthy from TTVS, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with such an amazing team and bring the Food Hub project to fruition. The feedback we have had from customers already has been so encouraging.  A huge thanks must go to Ali Knight and Melissa Trudgill for their endless dedication to the project and, of course, our wonderful team of volunteers.” 

So far, nearly 50 homes have signed up to the scheme representing more than 165 people of which over 50 are LiveWest residents. This project has provided 43 bags of food last week (July 7), individually the aim is to provide £10 extra food per bag, so this project provided an estimated extra £430 worth of food for customers as a group, in Holsworthy in one week. 

Ali Knight, community connector for LiveWest, said: “We are listening to our residents who would like help where possible with the cost-of-living crisis. In Holsworthy, a food project makes complete sense in this rurally isolated town where there are less options to purchase food.

“We would like to thank our amazing volunteer team who make this project happen every week. Also, our community partners; DMAT, TTVS, Northern Devon Food Bank, FareShare, the Methodist Church and One Small Step, who enabled this project to be able to happen.” 

Local Rev Simon Leigh, from Bude and Holsworthy Methodist Circuit, said: “Following the work of the Redeeming Our Communities (ROC) project initiated by the Bude and Holsworthy Methodist Circuit, it is good news for all concerned that the Foodhub have found a base at the Methodist Church in Bodmin Street, Holsworthy. 

“The Rev John Wesley, Methodism’s founder, advocated that Methodists should’ go not only to people who need you but to those who need you most’. In providing hospitality and welcome to the food hub not only Wesley’s concern, but the heart of Christianity is revealed through faith in action.”

The bag of food is one option that customers may have chosen on the opening day, but the food varies every week. This project was supported and wouldn’t have been possible without FareShare South West who provide a service redistributing quality surplus food that it takes from food retailers at regional and national level before it goes to supermarkets. So, people who use this project are also helping to reduce food waste.