Working hard to help give families a happy Christmas

HELPING HANDS Brian Welch, left, and Phil Rutt at the Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133358-2)
HELPING HANDS Brian Welch, left, and Phil Rutt at the Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (133358-2)

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IT MAY be the most wonderful time of the year for many, but these people are working hard to ensure those in need are fed at Christmas time.

Volunteers at the Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank are the latest to back The News’ Christmas food appeal.

The campaign has been launched to encourage people to donate food for the festive period.

The food bank has seen a 230-per-cent increase in need since 2011.

And volunteer Phil Rutt said he’s right behind The News’ campaign.

‘It’s a great idea. The greater levels of public awareness of the plight of people in our community has got to be a good thing,’ he said.

‘It’s a more significant issue than I think people are aware of.

‘I wonder if there are people we don’t see because there’s a stigma attached about coming to a place like this.’

Phil said people are really grateful for the support.

‘People are always hugely appreciative and grateful for what we get them and the support that they receive from us,’ he said.

‘People are generally hugely thankful for what we are able to do to help them through what we hope is a short-term crisis.’

In the food parcels, some toys will also be added as special Christmas gifts for children.

Phil added: ‘For me as a Christian there’s a sense that people need to be valued regardless of their circumstances.

‘There will be people for whom these are the only Christmas presents they will get.

‘This sort of thing can make a significant difference for families at this time of year.’

Supermarkets across the area have agreed to support our appeal.

All we ask is that you buy an extra item when you go shopping such as mince pies, tea bags, coffee, stuffing, Christmas cakes, crisps, sweets and tins of fruit and put it in our trolley on your way out.

The food will then be distributed to local food banks and churches across the area.