A 'food hub' set up in Helston to help people buy food during lockdown has proved so successful that there are plans to expand it.

Helston Local Food Hub was set up in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown when Helston Farmers' Market had to shut and producers were looking for new ways to sell their produce to customers.

Operating as an online shop, customers can buy local produce from a range of producers who deliver to Helston every Saturday. The Food Hub team then package it up for customers to collect later that morning, with deliveries currently also made to Mullion and Porthallow.

It has now seen more than 200 placed, with 1,500 separate items sold, and there is now a new website and plans to expand to more delivery and collection points.

Alastair Cameron who set up the click and collect service in April this year and started trading in May, said: "Although we started in lockdown, it was always our intention to create a market here for local food that was available for people more than once a month at Helston Farmers’ Market.

“We’ve been running for three months now and it’s proving really popular.

"We’ve had over 120 different customers, some of whom are shopping with us every week, and we’ve collected, packed and distributed thousands of different items.

"We’ve been getting great feedback from customers who love shopping locally, like the convenience of the click and collect service and being able to buy local food every week and support their local farmers, growers and producers.”

Alastair helped set up the hugely popular Helston Farmers' Market in 2008 and sees the Food Hub as a natural progression of the market and a complementary service.

“Not all producers can afford to spend every Saturday on a market stall, so this allows them to deliver exactly what they have sold to Helston every week, eliminating any waste and minimising their time spent selling," he explained.

However, Alistair stressed that the monthly farmers' market was still "hugely important," adding: "It’s where customers meet the people who have created, grown, cooked or tended their food and that connection is really special and not something that any supermarket can match.

"Knowing where your food came from and who’s made it makes that delicious food taste even better”.

There are now 15 producers selling through the Hub, including Gear Farm Organic Vegetables, Boscarnon Grass Fed Beef, Penny’s Pies, Treveador Dairy Cheese, Wild Pesto and more including eggs, bread, jams, pork and lamb and a wide selection of curries.

New produce and new producers are being added regularly and Alastair is exploring the opportunities to deliver to collection points in other villages.

“We currently deliver to Porthallow and Mullion; it’s been fun meeting people in those places and we’re hoping to extend that to other villages soon," he said.

The full range of produce can be viewed on the Hub’s new website www.helstonlocalfoodhub.co.uk and it is open for orders every week, with the orders closing on Thursday midday for the Saturday collection.