Generous shoppers get The News Christmas Food Appeal off to a flyer

From left, Rob Atkinson, Phil Rutt from the Fareham & Gosport Food Bank and Jason Hughes with a full trolley of donated food at Asda in Fareham
From left, Rob Atkinson, Phil Rutt from the Fareham & Gosport Food Bank and Jason Hughes with a full trolley of donated food at Asda in Fareham

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THE first trolley-full of donations for The News Christmas Food Appeal has been handed in.

We are asking readers to buy one extra item of food when they go to a participating supermarket.

This food is then distributed to food banks, refuges and shelters.

And the Asda store in Newgate Lane, Fareham, is the first to hand in a trolley brimming with food goodies such as tinned food, fish, meat, biscuits and mince pies.

Phil Rutt, volunteer for the Fareham and Gosport food bank, said: ‘This is going to make a real difference to people. That could be vulnerable people in the community or those who have fallen on hard times for whatever reason or another and need some support.

‘We’re experiencing amazing generosity from so many people and we thank all those who donated.

‘We can’t survive without donations and can’t give unless people give to us.

‘If someone can buy an extra tin and donate, then it makes such a difference and has a huge impact on someone else’s life.’

Once the food is collected by the food bank it is sorted.

Firstly by the use-by date, and then by different food groups such as soups, beans, meat and fish.

Then, depending on the use-by date, it is divided into four piles for different quarters of the year and then handed out.

Mr Rutt added: ‘We do it this way to make sure nothing is wasted and food that can last longer is given out later.

‘We want to encourage as many people as possible to donate. Thank you to all those who already have.’

Donations can still be handed into supermarkets.

Jason Hughes is store manager for the Asda store in Fareham.

He said: ‘It’s been overwhelming to see how generous people can be, particularly when times are hard for many people.

‘It’s good to see our customers think of others and donate an item.

‘We hope this generosity continues as the food banks are in need of donations.’

Below is a list of supermarkets that are taking part in the appeal, and above is a list of the most-wanted items.

Where can you donate Christmas food to our appeal?

PORTSMOUTH

- Sainsbury’s, Farlington

- Asda, Fratton

- Tesco, Crasswell Street

- Morrisons, Anchorage Park

- Morrisons, Victory Retail Park

- Sainsbury’s, Commercial Road

- Salvation Army, Lake Road, Monday - Friday, 10am to 3pm

- Pompey in the Community, Anson Road, Fratton, Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm

- The News, Lakeside, North Harbour

WATERLOOVILLE

- Morrisons, Horndean

- Asda, Portland Road

- Sainsburys, Hambledon Road (opens on Wednesday)

- Waterlooville Food Bank, Monday - 9.30am to 11.30am, Friday - 12pm to 2pm, Wecock Church, Kite Close

FAREHAM

- Asda, Speedfields Park

- Sainsbury’s, Broadcut

- Tesco, Quay Street

- Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank, Mon/Wed/Fri - 1pm to 3pm, Aspect House, Westbury Road, Fareham.

- The News, West Street

GOSPORT

- Morrisons, Walpole Road

- Tesco, Alver Valley

HAVANT

- Portsdown Community Church, weekday mornings 10am to 12.30pm, The Beacon, 69-73 Meridian Centre, Havant