HUNDREDS of homeless people and struggling families across Northampton are set to be fed this autumn as regular food parcels are to be donated to a shelter.
Smith's Farm Shop, which has two sites across the town, has announced it will give Northampton's Hope Centre, on Campbell Street, all its food that is past its sell-by-date.
The announcement came as the National Zero Waste campaign was launched in September, which aims to encourage householders, businesses, organisations, schools, universities and community groups waste less.
Pressure is also mounting on large supermarket chains to cut down on the amount of plastic packaging it uses.
Smith's Farm Shop proprietor Adrian Smith said: "As a family-run business we are passionate about helping others and showing everyone some kindness. We also care very deeply for the environment and being as ethical as we can be.
"Across the company we've launched our own zero waste campaign, which means we'll regularly be donating out-of-date food to the Hope Centre where staff work tirelessly to tackle poverty and homelessness across the town and beyond.
"In my view, no one should be going hungry at night, so it made total sense to donate this food. Legally, sell-by-dates must be adhered to, but I think most people will have ignored those dates from time to time if they find a tin in the cupboard and discovered the food to be absolutely fine to eat. I would rather use these items to help someone who is going through a bad time at the moment, then throw them away into landfill."
Some of the food items Adrian has recently donated have included tinned foods and vegetables.
Hope Centre's CEO Robin Burgess said: "We are hugely grateful to Adrian and his team at Smith's Farm Shop for their kind donations. Staff and volunteers at the Hope Centre work hard to improve the lives of anyone affected by poverty, especially homelessness.
"There is still a lot of stigma surrounding homeless people and why they no longer have a safe place to live. We are always looking at ways to engage with the community, proving that some people just fall on bad times and have no other choice than to take to the streets.
"Adrian's kind gesture will hopefully get other people thinking about what they might be able to do within their household for the people of Northampton as we are always looking for food and clothing donations, along with new volunteers."
Smith's Farm Shops are located in Chapel Brampton and Billing. The family have been in business since 1958. Proud of their heritage, the company supports like-minded local food producers, providing them with an outlet to sell their homegrown products.