New Portsmouth project aims to reduce food waste and poverty

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A NEW project is starting in Portsmouth to tackle food poverty and waste.

FoodCycle Pompey is set to launch in the coming weeks and aims to use donated produce to create healthy and nutritious meals.

The John Pounds Community Centre, off Queen Street, in Portsea, will run the initiative, which aims to look at issues of food waste and poverty, provide skills and training and bring the community together.

Funding for the project came from The News’ Cash for Communities which gave the John Pounds Community Centre £29,750 last year to launch it.

Organisers hope to have the scheme up and running in the next few weeks and will work with food stores and restaurants to reuse food that would otherwise be thrown away.

The donated produce will then be collected in the FoodCycle van and cooked up into a tasty, healthy hot meal by a number of volunteers.

Megan Saunders, FoodCycle Pompey Hub leader, said: ‘FoodCycle is a great national initiative and it is very exciting to get Portsmouth involved.

‘FoodCycle aims to tackle some very concerning issues in our community in a fun and friendly environment.

‘We hope to inspire everyone to think about their food waste, and to help those requiring support to feed their families.

‘We hope to work with many groups around the city including low-income families, mental health service users, homeless people, older people, asylum seekers and refugees, and the long-term unemployed.’

FoodCycle is a national initiative and the Portsmouth hub is the latest to have been started.

The project is expected to be a great asset to the city with Portsmouth’s Trussell Trust food bank being the ninth busiest in the country.

Volunteers are still needed for the scheme from collecting the food donations to cooking the meals or just letting people know about the project.

Anyone is welcome, from all age ranges and cooking abilities, and any hours will be gratefully welcomed.

To become a volunteer or for more information visit foodcycle.org.uk/location/portsmouth-hub