A PICKERING volunteer group is going from strength to strength, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Pickering Food Share, which was set up in March, has served more than 4,300 people and saved an estimated 10,000kg of food.

Open every Wednesday and Friday morning at the Ingsgarth Community Centre in Pike Road, Pickering, the volunteer group collects food past its sell-by date from supermarkets, cafes, fruit and vegetable shops, independent food outlets and delis.

“The group is grateful to the local council for the gift of the extra fridge and freezer and to Savage Cabbage for the very useful trolley,” said Margaret Kirby, a volunteer from Pickering Food Share.

“A special thanks goes to all those volunteers who turn up to collect the food and distribute it on a first come, first served basis.

“Thank you everyone who has regularly donated, it makes a massive difference.

“The donated food is available to anyone regardless of status or social standing.”

Taking inspiration from the Malton and Norton Ryedale Free Fridge initiative, anyone can donate unsold food items past its sell-by-date, but not past the use-by-date.

All the volunteers have achieved their Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate, alongside other essential training.

“If anyone wishes to donate or collect food, just remember to bring along a large carrier bag and don’t forget your face mask,” added Margaret. “You will be asked to wash your hands before entering the community centre - volunteer and visitor safety is paramount.”

Anyone is welcome to donate unwanted food or volunteer towards the project.

For more information, email Pickeringfoodshare@gmail.com or find Pickering Food Share on Facebook.