A GROUP of volunteers are urging households to make the most of their weekly food shop, now more than ever.

With many supermarket shelves left empty amid the coronavirus pandemic, Overton’s Community Food Champions are calling for residents to do their bit and ease the pressure on shop staff.

Caroline Richardson, one of the six volunteers, said: “In the last month our relationship with food has changed unimaginably.

“Not since the end of rationing in the 1950s have we really given the abundance of food a second thought and now we are regularly confronted with images of empty supermarket shelves.

“This time it is not an issue of supply. We are simply buying more than we need and that is putting a huge strain on supermarkets to restock the shelves.”

Caroline and her fellow volunteers, who were trained by the county council under its Smart Living initiative, were busy attending workshops and events prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

But now they are hoping to spread their message in other ways and have shared the following advice to shoppers:

  • Do not buy more than you need. The government is urging all of us to be responsible while supermarkets have been forced to limit the purchase of essential foods to stop unnecessary stockpiling.
  • Think about how you use leftovers – especially as more of us are eating all our meals at home. Can the evening meal be adapted into lunch for the following day? Can you freeze portions for use later?
  • Store your food well. Keep your fridge below 5c. All fruit with the exception of bananas and pineapples last much longer in the fridge. Many vegetables, particularly cabbages, broccoli and leafy greens can be revived in cold water. Store potatoes in a cool, dark cupboard.
  • Watch your portion sizes and if you do make too much, eat it the next day.
  • Be creative. Use the internet for inspiration: Google the food stuffs you have and you would be surprised at the recipe suggestions!

The group also recommends Love Food Hate Waste, an online resource that offers hints and tips on recipes and food storage suggestions.

They also stress that just because we may be stuck inside our own homes, doesn’t mean we should forget about those in others.

“While we can’t go out in to the community it doesn’t mean we can’t be community minded,” added Caroline.

“There is enough food for everyone if we don’t waste it and only buy what we need.”