A food project in Bere Alston is nearing its first year of success reaching out to people and forging a community.

Dinah Holloway, community food project facilitator, had hailed it a success for reaching people in need and creating a community as word gets round of the project and the stigma of asking for help is reduced.

“We had a trial of the project which is designed to address and reduce food poverty. One of the issues we are overcoming is the natural resistance of people to come forward and accept help. People don’t like to admit publicly they need help. They think people will look down on therm if they seem to be in need. In rural areas food poverty is also worse than urban areas, where there’s more choice of affordable food. “

The project began with partners such as FareShare and local councillor Angela Blackman and the primary school where it is based. It has received grant aid and is also funded by people paying £5 for a bag of food, having also paid £2 a year to become a member.

Initially, the key role (which remains) of the food project was to reduce food waste by distributing excess food provided through supermarkets.

Dinah said: “We’ve been reaching people by going out and sharing food with people who might not feel comfortable coming to us and then we find people carrying on the sharing by effectively bartering with neighbours and friends to make the most of food they might not use, further reducing waste. We also reach out to where people gather, like the local pub.

“It’s all helping forge a stronger community through food sharing. Now there’s a waiting list for membership, which shows there’s a need. We now need some grant aid to support this.”

Former Bere Alston School teacher Jane Brown is volunteering at the project. She said: “Ive always been a kind of eco-warrior, so it really appeals to me to help a food project not only tackling food poverty, but run in a sustainable way which is reducing the amount of perfectly good food going to landfill.”