A PICKERING volunteer group is tackling food wastage by opening a community fridge.

Pickering Food Share, alongside Ryedale entertainer Ryan Swain, officially opened the project at Ings Garth Community Centre, in Pickering.

Taking inspiration from the Malton and Norton Ryedale Free Fridge initiative, anyone can donate unsold food items past their sell-by-date, but not past the use-by-date.

Individuals and groups, including the Ryedale Environmental Group, the Ryedale Lions and the Pickering Rotary Club, have donated towards a new fridge, freezer, shelving, large scales and insulating bags.

“Our overall aim is to prevent food wastage going into landfills,” said Margaret Kirby, a volunteer for the Pickering Food Share.

“Food donations are freely available for collection, regardless of status or social standings.

“We want to thank everyone who has kindly donated, we really think the Pickering community fridge can make a huge difference.”

All the volunteers have achieved their Level 2 Food Hygiene certificate, alongside other essential training. It is open Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 10am to 1pm.

Lisa Barry, organiser of the Pickering Food Share, said: “Recycling food is very important, as there are lots of individuals and families struggling to feed themselves.

“Collecting unwanted food, which is perfectly safe to eat, is saving wastage going into any landfills and making a difference.

“The group is excited to see what the future holds; even helping a handful of people is an amazing achievement.

“Thank you very much to all our volunteers and businesses for helping us; we could not do this without you.”

Everyone is welcome to donate unwanted food or volunteer. For more, email pickeringfoodshare@gmail.com