Join us in our new Christmas appeal

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MANY of us are looking forward to sitting down on Christmas Day to a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

But for some people, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year.

The launch of the News christmas food appeal took place at Morrisons in Gosport. (left to right), Pamela Hibbard of the Family Church with Carlie Lang of Morrisons and Flavia Trewin of the Family Church.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (133293-5)

The launch of the News christmas food appeal took place at Morrisons in Gosport. (left to right), Pamela Hibbard of the Family Church with Carlie Lang of Morrisons and Flavia Trewin of the Family Church.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133293-5)

Now, The News is launching its Christmas Food Appeal in a bid to encourage people to donate food to give those in need a happier Christmas.

All we ask is that you buy an extra item when you go shopping and put it in our trolley on your way out.

The food will then be distributed to food banks and local churches across the area to support those who need extra help at this time of the year.

Flavia Trewin is from Caring Hands, a Gosport and Fareham partnership which makes up hampers to people in need all through the year.

She said she is thrilled that The News is launching a food appeal.

‘I think it’s an absolutely fabulous way of providing food for families in need.

‘People everywhere really want to help at Christmas time but sometimes they don’t know where to send their food. So places like us, we can take the food and give it to those in need.’

Flavia added that now more than ever people need the support.

‘The situation in our country at the moment is pretty grim all round.

‘People are losing their jobs and it’s not just people who are at the bottom of the ladder.

‘There are people who are losing their jobs and have been in employment for years and years and suddenly find themselves without a job one morning.

‘They have to start taking benefits and sometimes when circumstances change in families their benefits stop immediately and they have no way of providing their families with food.’

Pamela Hibbard, a volunteer at Caring Hands added: ‘I’ve been there and I know what it’s like not to have food.

‘When someone from their heart gives you a bag of food it just makes all the difference.

‘You can feed your children and that’s all you want to do at the end of the day, to provide for your family.’

Supermarkets across the area have agreed to support the appeal.

Carlie Lang is the community champion at Morrisons in Gosport.

She said: ‘This is very good because a lot of people struggle at this time of year. People will appreciate it because there’s nothing worse than seeing families and children struggling at Christmas time, or at any time of the year.

‘We have done this before and people do like to buy stuff to put in the trolley to help out.’

Where you can donate food for the appeal

Portsmouth

Tesco, Crasswell Street

Morrisons, Victory Retail Park

Morrisons, Anchorage Park

Sainsbury’s, Farlington

Portsmouth Food Bank - Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12pm to 2pm, Kings Church, Elm Grove, Southsea

Portsmouth Food Bank - Tuesday and Thursday, 12pm to 2pm, Paulsgrove Baptist Church, Woofferton Road, Paulsgrove

Fareham

Tesco, Quay Street

Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 1pm to 3pm, Aspect House, Westbury Road, Fareham.

Gosport

Morrisons, Walpole Road

Asda, Dock Road

Jacobs Well Family Church, Tuesday - 10am to 12pm, 2a Layton Road, Bridgemary

Havant

Tesco, Solent Road

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

Waterlooville

Asda, Portland Road

Morrisons, Lakesmere Road, Horndean

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

News offices:

The News, Lakeside, North Harbour

Gosport office, 42 High Street, Gosport

Fareham office, 88 West Street, Fareham

Havant office, 7 West Street, Havant