TWO vans and four cars were loaded with food for people in need – thanks to the generous people of Emsworth.
Yesterday’s Harvest Festival in The Square rounded off the spectacular Emsworth British Food Fortnight.
Churches from across the town joined together for the service – with singing from children from St James’ Primary School.
And the highlight was the handing over of the food mountain – crates of food that had been donated during the fortnight by shoppers to the Beacon Food Bank in Havant.
Alistair Gibson organised the event on behalf of Emsworth Business Association.
He said: ‘It’s been a really wonderful two weeks of celebrating Emsworth and its food heritage.
‘I’m overwhelmed almost with the generosity of the people of Emsworth.
‘We concluded the day with a lunch for the people who use the food bank and need our support, cooked by chefs from the village. It’s been a wonderful day.’
The Food Fortnight piggy-backed on to the national British Food Fortnight which promotes the best local produce.
There have been offers on at local shops, food and drink tastings, markets, food walks, poetry and pizza evenings and lunches cooked by students at local catering colleges.
The Highbury, South Downs and Chichester College lunches at The Brookfield Hotel, were sell-outs.
Alistair added: ‘This has been a great initiative for those young people setting out in the food industry.’
Ruth Scott is the community and church centre manager for The Beacon Church in the Meridian Centre.
She said she was delighted when Alistair approached her with the idea of support The Beacon during the Food Fortnight.
‘I was very flattered that he came to me with his vision to make this about the whole community,’ said Ruth.
‘Food Fortnight has not just been about the well-off people of Emsworth but about giving something back.
‘We needed two vans and four cars to transport all the food back to the church.
‘I always knew that Emsworth was a community with a heart but now we have seen the generosity too and we are very thankful.’
Following the success of the donations, The Co-op, in High Street, will be making monthly donations.