A NEW report published by Calstock Parish Council has revealed a greater need for a Tamar Valley food scheme — specifically in Gunnislake.

The food action service enables local residents to purchase £80 worth of surplus food for £20 and has shown greater uptake in the village as the parish council reviews use of the service so far.

The service was set up by the parish council in collaboration with Devon and Cornwall Food Action (DCFA), a charity that works with food producers and supermarkets to redistribute surplus food to prevent food waste, in turn helping those in need.

The food boxes the charity sources contain a selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, bread and store cupboard items.

The food action service started last month has been run three times, throughout the Tamar Valley from three locations; Gunnislake car park, Delaware Pre-School and Calstock car park.

The parish council’s report, published earlier this month, reveals an average between 35-40 households have required parcels each time the service has run and over 70 households who have registered an interest.

Parish councillor Tracy Ledger — who is fronting the scheme — is pleased that the project is benefiting the local communities.

“It is going well; better than expected,” said Cllr Ledger.

“The uptake is good and the feedback is excellent so we are definitely getting there.

“There are people that come and access the service from an environmental perspective and some that come from a need.

“We are trying to make sure that it is sustainable and works in the long term, especially as we enter the winter months.”

Cllr Ledger highlighted a noticeable greater need for the service in Gunnislake compared with other communities in the parish — a need confirmed in the report — with Calstock having the second highest uptake followed by Delaware.

Cllr Ledger also stated an intention to identify other solutions to support the Gunnislake community such as working with the Gunnislake Hub: a new community hub being set up at the Williamstown Cafe.

The report also states that the service will now operate every three weeks from both Gunnislake and Calstock car parks due to the Delaware pick-up point on the road outside the pre-school proving “mildly hazardous”.

Each DCFA lorry contains 20 ‘boxes’ and if the interest shown so far is sustained, three lorries will be needed. DCFA typically arrives at each location with more packages than have been ordered, however the parish council has stressed that if those using the service are to be guaranteed a parcel they must to place an order through its website. The report’s conclusion stated that a short survey is to be undertaken in the near future with those currently registered to see if they will continue using the service, if they would use it monthly or more often and if they are prepared to travel to Gunnislake and/or Calstock to access it. If you are interested in purchasing a box or wish to find out more, contact: [email protected]