A COMMUNITY that has rallied round to help people in need during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has raised more than £4,800 and delivered over 300 food boxes.

Christine Giles, of Christine’s Sustainable Supermarket in Bradford on Avon, launched the free food box service in April after learning that some people were housebound.

She said: “We started free delivery for anyone housebound during Covid-19 and then from that we decided to supply free food boxes to anyone in Bradford on Avon who was struggling because they had lost their jobs and could not afford to buy basic food.

“This led to customers sponsoring food boxes and, as of now, we have raised £4,800 and have donated £5,000 worth of free food boxes.

“This then lead onto local ladies offering to make us some face masks and all the proceeds have gone to providing the food boxes.”

She has been helped by ‘SuperMax’, Max Hopcraft, a St Laurence School pupil who works for her part-time.

He has been using his bike to cycle all around Bradford on Avon and surrounding villages delivering the 300 food boxes to those in need.

Max, who is now 16, said: “It’s helped to keep me fit. I’ve been as far afield as Winsley.”

He’s also attracted more than 550 ‘likes’ on Facebook for his efforts to help serve the local community in which he lives.

In addition, a newcomer to Bradford on Avon, Mary

Lu Mitchell, has so far made 250 face masks which have been sold to Christine’s customers and have raised over £1,000.

Miss Mitchell said: “I’m new to the area, having just moved to Bradford on Avon from Cambridgeshire.

“I’ve made 250 so far and people have been donating fabric to make the face masks so it’s not costing a lot.

“They are all quite unique. People have been brilliant about bringing in the fabric, so the costs have been kept low.”

The face masks were initially being sold at £2 each but as demand rose, the price was increased to £5. Some customers have suggested they should be sold at £8 or £9 each.

All proceeds from face mask sales is being ploughed back into providing the free food boxes through the town’s churches and local schools to people whom they have identified as being in need.

“We don’t get to know who they go to,” said Mrs Giles, 52, who started her business 14 years ago.

“We put out a plea on Facebook and Instagram to find people who were really struggling because they had lost their jobs and could not afford basic foods.

“We were inundated with the response and had over 100 requests in the first two weeks.

“Since then, we’ve set up a dedicated Facebook page for the free food boxes and people have been donating online and paying money into the bank account.

“Our customers have been very generous. Nearly everyone puts some money in the box or asks if they can help.

“It’s just lovely that other people have joined in. When other people want to help it just makes it that little bit nicer.”