A building which was once a bustling butcher's shop for more than 35 years in the heart of the Waveney Valley is being transformed into a community food hall.

Bungay Community Support (BCS) first started providing essential items to vulnerable people in the town during the 2020 Covid lockdown.

Now the charity, which has developed a range of support services, is in the process of transforming the former John Groom butcher's shop into a community hub.

Linda Bailey, volunteer and BCS trustee, said: “On the face of it Bungay comes across as a prosperous market town - but it actually has high levels of deprivation, with 70pc of the population in the most deprived 20pc of areas in England.

“Bungay has an above-average problem with children being overweight linked to poverty, and we want to enable families to eat healthier.

“Often the cheaper foods are not always the healthiest and this can have an impact on physical as well as mental wellbeing.

“We want to make the options available to people at the food hall healthy."

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Bungay Community Support trustees inside food hall (Former Butchers shop)Bungay Community Support trustees inside food hall (Former Butchers shop) (Image: Submitted)

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The non-profit food hall will stock a range of surplus produce, including fresh fruit and vegetables, alongside everyday items at discounted prices.

In order to offer healthier choices, food hall organisers are appealing to local businesses, producers and home-growers to donate surplus fresh fruit and vegetables. 

Jonny Crickmore, director of Fen Farm Dairy, is one of the businesses supporting the food hall.

He said: ’’We always have a small amount of product we make that doesn’t find a home and this is a worthy cause to donate unsold products for people who need it most.”

Beccles & Bungay Journal: Men's Shed Volunteers who have been working to renovate the former butchersMen's Shed Volunteers who have been working to renovate the former butchers (Image: Submitted)

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Refurbishment of the former butcher's shop started in October with the help of volunteers from the Ditchingham Men’s Shed. 

The food hall is due to open in April.

If you would like to donate to the Bungay Community Support food hall you can register by emailing: Bungaybcs@gmail.com.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: John Groom Butchers, Wingfield street in 2008John Groom Butchers, Wingfield street in 2008 (Image: Nick Butcher)