Market voucher scheme is helping families hardest hit by lockdown in Chorley
A ground-breaking scheme to help feed hard up families after lockdown, has been launched in Chorley.
Struggling families can now get fresh food from Chorley Market by using vouchers at a range of stalls, thanks to a local charity.
They can choose their own vegetables, meat, fruit and eggs - items not usually included in food parcels which families say they need but cannot afford.
A hot food stall and a bakery are also included.
The voucher scheme has been set up by Chorley Help the Homeless, a charity formed in the town 25 years ago.
Since lockdown some local families are known to be suffering great hardship either because they have lost jobs in the pandemic or employers have gone out of business.
"These families with children are struggling to pay bills and feed themselves. We have had generous food donations from the community over are now helping these
families too", said Ken Phillips, chair of CHTH.
Two trustees, Janet Walker and Adrian Smith, came up with the idea of using the local market stalls as the charity struggles to provide fresh food.
Both Adrian and Janet worked out the details of how to run the scheme.
Adrian then talked to the market traders and we were delighted that six of them signed up and were very keen to help;
"Not only do families now get fresh food, they can choose for themselves where to shop and what to buy.
"Whilst tinned and packet food is always very useful to give out, people appreciate being able to top it up with fresh food," said Ken.
CHTH pays the stall holders the value of the vouchers they have received.
As well as families, those who are either in danger of becoming homeless or already are can be given the vouchers.
CHTH is working with other local charities, Chorley Council, schools and churches who can refer families in need.
Some of the money for the voucher scheme has come from a grant from Lancashire Community Funding.