A NEW affordable food hub has been launched in the Carlisle area to support families and individuals on low income and benefits.

The hub, set up by the Carlisle Community Help group, offers a food parcel filled with products chosen by the person who has ordered it for a small weekly fee that is lower than general retail price.

It's similar to the food pantry model that is already in place in towns and cities up and down the country.

Lisa Brown, project and campaigns co-ordinator, said: "They pay a small fee for a set amount of food each week so it's to help them out with the weekly shopping, it doesn't replace that.

"It's just to give a hand to people that are on benefits, low income, and especially since the furlough scheme has ended, anybody that might be struggling with all their bills and shopping as well.

"We were doing emergency food parcels, now people can come and actually choose what they want and get foods that they like."

Food available include pantry staples like cereal, pasta, rice, tinned products, ready meals, and fresh meat. Each food parcel will also contact fresh fruit and vegetables for free.

The service doesn't simply provide food parcels to people living within the Carlisle council ward, it is supporting local business whilst also being environmentally friendly.

"We are going to be working with local suppliers to keep as much of the stuff we buy as local as possible," Lisa added.

"That helps us be a little bit greener and reduce food miles, it means that the money that we're getting goes back into the local economy."

For now, access to the hub is online or over the phone but the group is hoping to work with community centres to help more people. Prices range from £5 p/w to £9 p/w.

They can be reached online or by calling 07394546877.