Chairman of Plymouth food action charity in desperate plea for cash

A charity that provides food parcels to hundreds of families around Plymouth is on the brink of collapse.

Devon and Cornwall Food Action, based in Roborough, distributes end-of-date food to the elderly, homeless people, veterans and schools. It says that without substantial new funding it will no longer be able to operate.

The crisis comes as demand for the service is on the increase with volunteers saying that even families in full time work need help.

School children help pack food packages for families in poverty in Plymouth. Credit: ITV West Country

Every week Devon & Cornwall Food Action delivers boxes full of surplus food to Compton Primary School in Plymouth. The children help to make up food parcels for needy families and the rest of the food is sold to parents to pay for those food parcels.

DCFA is not a food bank. The charity redistributes surplus food provided by supermarkets and other food outlets.

It has the slogan "Fill bellies not bins".

The produce is fit for consumption but would otherwise have been sent to landfill, or disposed of in some way, because it does not meet the food producer or supplier's standards for sale.

Food that cannot be immediately re-distributed remains in stock at the charity's warehouse until required. If it becomes unusable or unsafe it is taken to the Langage Anaerobic Digester facility just outside Plymouth, where it is converted into bio-fertiliser.

Devon and Cornwall Food Action gets donations of surplus food from a range of supermarkets in the city. Credit: ITV West Country

The charity is so desperate for cash that its army of volunteers - who already give their time for free - are not even being paid expenses at the moment.

The chairman, Alan Dunne, has set up a fundraising page for those that want to help.