A FOOD bank is to move premises to cope with growing demand.
And the Gosport branch of Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank has received food worth more than £600 after the town’s Rotary Club raised money during December to help.
Rather than just donate the money or give items to the service, Colin Davey, president of Gosport Rotary Club, found out from co-ordinators exactly what they needed.
That included items the food and basics bank rarely receives, such as nappies, tins of meat, tinned pies and long-life milk.
Mr Davey said the Rotary Club decided to donate to the service, along with the Rowans Hospice and the Mountbatten Hospice, after reading about a Portsmouth food bank in The News.
He said: ‘We’ve more or less picked up and filled the holes of the more expensive things and the things that people don’t give.
‘We got six or seven hundred pounds worth. We got preferential rates and paid just under £600 to Asda.
‘That’s the first instalment. We’ll be doing another instalment in January of about £400 plus to buy the food.’
The bank will now be able to continue to serve people in need, even with the increased demand.
The service was based at Jacobs Well Care Centre in Toronto Place, Gosport, but will move to the United Reform Church, in Bury Road, Gosport, on January 7, after demand for vouchers doubled.
From September 2011 to September 2012, the food bank handed out nearly 1,000 vouchers to families and individuals, compared to 500 the previous year.
Pam Elliott, co-ordinator of the Gosport branch, said it relied on donations from the public.
‘It’s just brilliant. Although we get lots of donations, except for around harvest festival time we’re always having to supplement by going and buying food,’ she said.
‘Without them we’d be spending money that we’ve had put by. People do give us donations but we do need it, and the need has gone up tremendously over the last year. We’re getting far more people coming in for help, it’s doubled this year.’
Pam said at its busiest time, the food and basics bank handed out 14 vouchers in just one hour, helping 16 adults and 15 children. People must be referred to the service by an agency.