Town centre base needed for Ottery’s new community larder
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Surplus supermarket food will be distributed free of charge to anyone who can make use of it, in a new community larder initiative in Ottery.
Ottery Community Volunteers (OCV) plan to set up a base in the town centre where people can come and collect food parcels or ready-prepared meals.
The group has teamed up with the national FareShare charity which collects in-date food that cannot be sold, and gives it out to charities.
It will also be taking food from the Seaton-based zero food waste organisation SAVE, which collects items from supermarkets in Honiton so that they can be given out to anyone who can use them.
A spokesman for the Ottery Community Volunteers said: “This allows us to promote the available food as a service to everyone in the community and removes any stigma – we want people to take the food and use it.
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“It is not a handout or charity, but a good thing to do.”
The Ottery Community Larder said it will not means-test or ask for any evidence of need; everyone will be equally welcome to benefit from its service.
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It also plans to branch out into free cookery lessons, chef demos, food sampling and even ‘banquet nights’.
The group will be using a community storage facility in Honiton for keeping non-perishable goods such as tinned food, dried pasta, tea bags and long-life milk.
SAVE co-ordinates collections of chilled food from the supermarkets.
The Ottery Community Volunteers will be responsible for planning, producing and overseeing prepared meals, packing food boxes or parcels, and arranging deliveries of food.
A spokesman for OCV said: “The one thing we need is somewhere to do it.
“We cannot move forward until we have a large room where we can set up fridges and freezers, a sink for cleaning things and maybe a desk for admin - ideally in the centre of Ottery where someone would welcome people coming in throughout the day.
Anyone who can offer premises for the community larder is asked to contact OCV by emailing email@example.com, or phoning 01404 600013.