A NEW ‘social supermarket’ in the centre of Keighley is helping tackle food poverty across the town.

The Good Food Keighley shop was launched in July and has seen demand steadily rise.

Based in an Airedale Shopping Centre unit, the project currently welcomes between 40 and 60 users a week – who are referred to it by support agencies and schools.

The shop stocks a range of food items – and other essential products – donated as surplus by supermarkets and by community organisations, such as Fountains Church in Bradford.

Members of the scheme can shop at the outlet once a week, paying £5 for 15 items. There is also an option to put £1 of that amount into a Credit Union savings account.

Six months’ membership of the shop costs £1.

Behind the initiative is a partnership of eight organisations in the town – Keighley Parish, the Salvation Army, Roshni Ghar, the town council, Keighley Schools Together, Keighley Healthy Living, Holy Family School and Keighley Pathways.

Steve Sprange, the scheme’s co-ordinator, said: “All of those involved are concerned with addressing food poverty across our district.

“In addition, we have recently established a partnership with Food Savers so that we can bring together some of the issues around debt management and saving money.

“Relating to eligibility, anybody who the supporting agencies or schools believe would benefit from this project will be able to join.

“The main aspect of Good Food Keighley is that a family or individual can choose items they want, rather than relying on a food parcel which may contain goods that will not be used and go to waste.”

The shop – which is in the Brunswick Arcade, opposite Boots Opticians – is currently open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 10am and 1pm.

“During this time members can come in once a week to do a shop,” says Steve.

“People who are not members are welcome to call in and we can provide details on how they may get recommended to us – and possibly become a member – or we are able to advise on where they can receive a food parcel if in urgent need.

“Additionally, we intend to provide advice on a wide range of issues through the support and expertise of our partners.”

The scheme is supported by a small team of volunteers – and more help is being sought. “We are looking for volunteers who could give their time to collect from a local supermarket for us and bring to the shop each of the three days,” says Steve.

Further information about the scheme can be found at facebook.com/goodfoodkeighley.