A couple who collect leftover food from supermarkets before they distribute it to those in need are appealing for help to buy a van.

John and Sheila Carlisle, of Grenfell Close, Borehamwood, have been running Gratitude for five years now.

They visit stores across the town collecting food such as bread, fruit, and tinned food, for free, before delivering it to hostels, shelters, and centres across the town.

Borehamwood Times:

A few weeks ago, they opened their new pantry which stocks the goods and allows people to come and take what they need to support their family, via a Whatsapp group controlled by Sheila.

The couple also a host a cooking programme at St Teresa’s Parish Hall in Shenley Road on a Wednesday. It starts at 11am and also provides an opportunity to relax. Performers are regularly in attendance to provide entertainment.

Borehamwood Times:

Mr Carlisle said: “We are very inclusive but we want to widen this across more areas. We collect items in our car but we are trying to raise enough money to buy a van to take the goods instead.

“We were inspired by teachings that people in the area you live in should never go hungry.”

They have formed relationships with the people who benefit from their work, so much so they open up the pantry at all hours and allow people to take what they wish.

Mr Carlisle added: “If you trust people, they will react positively and that is what we are seeing.”

Borehamwood Times:

The couple will be handing out 1,000 mince pies for homeless people in the lead up to Christmas and will also be providing meals for the elderly on Boxing Day.

If you would like to know more about Gratitude and get involved, email sheilacarlisle.gratitude@gmail.com or visit the Facebook page.