A CHARITY in Evesham has been able to increase the level of care it offers the community after signing up to Tesco’s Community Food Connection scheme.

Caring Hands, an outreach programme organised by the Vale of Evesham Christian Centre, is signed up to Tesco’s Community Food Connection programme.

Community Food Connection is run in partnership with the food charity FareShare and pairs Tesco stores with local charities and community groups, alerting them about available unsold surplus food items at the end of the day via a mobile app.

This food can then be picked up by charities and supplied to people in need ensuring that no good food goes to waste.

Caring Hands, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary, has been signed up to the scheme since its launch in August 2016.

The group picks up food on Sundays and Tuesdays from Tesco on Worcester Road in Evesham and the items collected are used in the ‘Drop-In Diner’, which operates on a Monday and Wednesday lunchtime.

There, visitors can receive a full cooked meal as well as access to other services including a homelessness support service.

The diner is run by a team of volunteers from the charity, with additional help from the Evesham Day Centre as well as pupils from schools in the surrounding area.

The diner now serves between 100 and 120 meals a week.

The centre also offers a free course called Shopping and Eating on a Budget, with the aim of helping people reduce the cost of their household grocery shopping and minimise waste.

Diane Bennett, Community Worker at Caring Hands, said: “Collecting food from Tesco’s Community Food Connection has meant we have been able to save funds that would have otherwise been spent on food costs, and channel these into developing the other services we provide.

“The staff at Tesco Evesham are always polite and friendly, and they will go out of their way to help.”