IT’S a lifeline to people from all walks of life.
Hundreds of families who have hit rock bottom and are struggling to put food on the table have benefitted from The Beacon Food Bank in Havant.
And the need for their food hampers is increasing.
With an unstable economy and many people being put out of work, the organisation says demand is going up.
To raise awareness The Beacon, on the first floor of the Meridian Centre, held an open day yesterday for members of the local community to find out about the service.
Ruth Scott, community projects manager at The Beacon, the home of Portsdown Community Church, said: ‘A lot of people don’t know that we are here.
‘We want people to know we are here so they can donate food and keep it going because the need is increasing.
‘At the minute, our stocks are very low.’
Last Christmas more than 40 hampers – full of tins, cereal boxes, pasta, rice, bread, and detergents – were handed out to families.
Up to 11 hampers are given out every week.
The recipients are referred to the charity by organisations, including councils, social workers or doctors’ surgeries.
Single mum Katie Hyett, 26, of Lockerley Road, West Leigh, received a hamper in Christmas 2010.
She said: ‘It was absolutely amazing and a blessing. My daughter had just been born and times were quite hard.’
Another recipient who attended the open day was a former managing director, who lost his job and ended up with no money.
The 65-year-old, from Horndean, who did not want to be named, said: ‘This service is much more than food.
‘I was nervous about asking for help.’
Food donations can be dropped off at The Beacon Lounge on weekdays between 10am and 12.30pm, or on Saturdays at Beacon Furniture, Market Parade, between 10.30am and 2.30pm.
Firms can take a box to fill with food. Call (023) 9247 0167.
A collection is being held at Asda, Bedhampton, from 11am to 3pm on October 20.