FRESH fruit and vegetables were given to people in need over Christmas after an appeal by an Otley group.

Otley 2030 delivered 260 boxes of produce, in a covid secure and safe way, with the help of many volunteers over a two week period.

A spokeswoman said: “The group received very generous local support, with a Go Fund Me page raising enough for them to provide lovely, full boxes, and many local businesses making generous donations.

“Food poverty was on the increase well before the pandemic, but as the numbers of people having to claim benefits increases, it is becoming an issue for more and more families. Elderly people living on fixed incomes are also finding that their food budget does not stretch as far as they would like it to.

“The Otley Food Bank, the schools and Otley Action for Older People are doing a great job of keeping people’s heads above water, but the food bank cannot store fresh fruit and vegetables.”

Shannon Coles, who helped to coordinate the project, said: “Otley 2030 is a community of people working to create a fair and sustainable town, and we felt that we should be supporting those in our community who might struggle to afford the ‘5 a day’ recommended by the government.”

“We’d also like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made the project possible. It really was a fantastic example of a community pulling together to help others in a time of need.”

Like Nana Did, provided sanitiser and soup mix D.A.D fruit and veg stall, O’Fresh, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, all donated food.

JPS Print Management printed request leaflets and Christmas cards for free, and The Bridge Church provided its hall for packing and preparing, with no charge.

A spokeswoman said: “The project would not have been possible at all without the help of Simon and Becky, from the Tuesday and Saturday fruit and veg stall in the market, who not only donated all of the potatoes distributed, but also managed and advised on deliveries from the wholesalers.”