A SCHEME which donates out-of-date food to needy families is expanding.

Accrington and Rossendale College’s scheme donates bags of food, saving families money and food from landfill.

AccRoss bosses said they were very proud of the growing success of their Food Share Food Group initiative.

The project’s takes short-coded and out-of-date products and makes the food available to students, staff and the community.

This food has previously been returned to a warehouse in Preston from supermarkets and would otherwise go to landfill.

AccRoss provides transport to collect the food and warehousing space from where it is made available.

There is no charge for the food, which is also available for people in real need, but a donation of £5 is suggested from those who can afford to cover running costs and make the project financially sustainable.

A donation is made to the Preston warehouse according to the number of trays of food collected and other operating costs include an employee who organises the volunteers and who makes the food available for collection on a Wednesday morning.

People are free to choose the food they want and then donate what they can afford and what they think is fair.

The Food Share Food Group provides valuable real-life warehousing experience for students and works alongside the college restaurant, Roots, run entirely by students.

Some students volunteer their time to help the project and all really benefit from it.

Charlotte Scheffmann, assistant principal at AccRoss, said: “There is always a variety of food available and sometimes an excess of particular products from luxury meals and toothpaste to beetroot and we have never yet run out.

“I am very proud of this growing venture; we had to stay open over half term because of the demand, for some people this allows them to feed their families.”

Open from 9.30am to 10.30am every Wednesday at the Sandy Lane entrance to the college the Food Share Food Groups is growing organically by recommendation.

It has recently expanded to offer a complimentary coffee and cake service for all who use the food share, a welcoming space to meet new people and socialise. “We are pleased to welcome everyone to the college,” said Charlotte. “It truly is the heart of the local community”.

For more information call 01254 389933.