A COMMUNITY hub that provides a lifeline for people is now bigger and easier to reach.

Winsford Community Grocery moved into the old Job Centre in High Street today.

Winsford Guardian: People waited in a long queue for the new community hub to openPeople waited in a long queue for the new community hub to open

People waited in a long queue for the new community hub to open

Balloons heralded the exciting expansion and a long queue of people waited outside to get inside.

Winsford Guardian: Balloons heralded the launch of Winsford Community Grocery moving into the old Job Centre in High StreetBalloons heralded the launch of Winsford Community Grocery moving into the old Job Centre in High Street

Balloons heralded the launch of Winsford Community Grocery moving into the old Job Centre in High Street

This food club is open to everyone and people can just turn up on the day.

It costs £3 per session for a bag full of groceries.

The food is donated by local supermarkets and has usually just passed its sell by date and is still more than good enough to eat. The main aim of the project is to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfill, but it’s also doing a huge part in alleviating food poverty.

The not for profit company rescues items such as meat, dairy, vegetables, fruit and bread, which would otherwise be thrown away.

Winsford Guardian: Assistant manager Stacy Challinor and project manager Charlotte Hough officially open the new home of Winsford Community GroceryAssistant manager Stacy Challinor and project manager Charlotte Hough officially open the new home of Winsford Community Grocery

Assistant manager Stacy Challinor and project manager Charlotte Hough officially open the new home of Winsford Community Grocery

Grocery manager Charlotte Hough is delighted to be operating from the new spacious location as it means that they’ll be able to accept even more food.

Charlotte said: “We’ve gone from one main store collection to 60 a week. With the new space we’ll be able to take even more food donations in. That means we can not only reduce food waste,but also provide support for those affected by food poverty in Winsford.”

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Assistant manager Stacy Challinor added: “The central location makes it more accessible for people all over the town. It’s right near the local bus stops too so it’s easy for people to get to. I hope we’ll be able to reach more people that may need our service. "It’s a lifeline for people who are struggling.”

Volunteer Jo Conchie, who has worked with the project since it was launched earlier this year, said: "Everyone is really excited. There was a big turn out for the launch, the queue was as long as the eye could see.

Winsford Guardian: There was a big turn out of people for the launchThere was a big turn out of people for the launch

There was a big turn out of people for the launch

"This is a community hub to help as many people who are struggling as possible."

Until now, the food club operated from St Chad's Church hall and New Images youth centre on different days of the week.

Charlotte hopes that having a permanent space will allow them to run even more grocery sessions throughout the week.

Other community groups also share the space.

Pass It On Baby collects prams, cots, moses baskets, nappies and clothes for families in need.

Jo Conchie runs this service with former Winsford Mayor and midwife Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones.

Jo said: "We take referrals from midwives and social care workers and support new parents. This centre provides us with more storage space so we will be able to help more families.

“It’s so nice to have a community hub that we can all operate from together to support the people of Winsford. I’m so proud of what Charlotte and Stacy have managed to achieve with the grocery. They never stop working. It’s been such a success and it’s helped so many people in our town."

A uniform exchange which stocks uniforms for all the local schools is also based at the new centre.

Winsford Community Grocery will be open on Thursday, December 17 from 6pm to 8pm, Monday, December 21 from 10am to midday, Christmas Eve from 6pm to 7.30pm, Tuesday, December 29 from 11am to 1pm and Monday, January 4 from 10am to midday.

Donations for Pass It On Baby Bank and Uniform Exchange can also be dropped off during these times.