Beacon Food Bank in Havant needs cash boost from ride

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PEDAL power could stop children going hungry and prevent a food bank from having to make cuts.

The Beacon Food Bank in Havant is launching its first major fundraiser to raise cash to keep it going for the next year.

A lot is riding on the sponsored bike ride next month because the food bank desperately needs a cash boost.

Based in the Meridian Centre, the service started five years ago with a few tins of baked beans, tomato soup and some fusilli pasta stored under the sink at Portsdown Community Church.

Now it is one of the busiest food banks in the area, helping almost 2,000 people last year.

Each week it gives out at least 25 hampers to families who cannot afford to put food on the table.

The Beacon is just one of the local food banks, with others in Portsmouth, Fareham, Waterlooville and Gosport also experiencing a surge in demand.

To raise funds people are being invited to take part in a sponsored bike ride around Langstone Harbour, with three levels available from one mile to 15 miles.

Getting in the saddle after a 25-year hiatus is John Wilbraham, pastor at the church.

He said: ‘It’s absolutely key for it to carry on.

‘I have not been cycling for 25 years so this is a good challenge for me. It should be fun!’

Ruth Scott, who runs the food bank, said they need to raise £5,000, which will cover running costs and get them through the busy winter months.

She said: ‘We are very good at managing our money but we still need to pay bills and cover our costs and we want to buy fresh food for the clients.’

She added: ‘You never know what’s going on behind people’s closed doors.

‘People think Havant is a well-off area and it’s not.

‘There’s lots of people who are really struggling.’

The event takes place on Saturday, September 13. Cyclists start and finish in the car park of The Spring, in East Street.

Pre-registration is essential. Email foodbank@portsdowncc.org.uk for a form or call (023) 9247 0167. Visit portsdowncc.org.uk/index.php/in-the-community/sponsored-cycle-ride.




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