Medina Primary School children donate nearly 1,000 items to keep Paulsgrove food bank going as demand skyrockets

SELFLESS primary school children and their parents have donated nearly 1,000 items of food to help people struggling to buy groceries during the pandemic.

By Neil Fatkin
Monday, 6th April 2020, 12:46 pm
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 1:31 pm

Children from Medina Primary School in Cosham have made the generous donation to Paulsgrove Baptist Church Food Bank in a bid to help families in need.

The food bank said ‘they’d never seen stocks so low’ in the wake of the outbreak.

Headteacher Howard Payne said: ‘After hearing schools were going to close, the children came up with the idea they would like to bring in items of food to help the increasing number of people needing support.

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Year 6 pupils from Medina Primary School with some of the hunderds of items donated to Paulsgrove Baptist Church Foodbank.

‘The children were really concerned about what was happening in their community and wanted to support the ever dwindling stock in the Paulsgrove Food Bank.

‘Some of the children brought in bags full of food – more than 900 items in total.’

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Pupils were encouraged to bring in non-perishable goods such as pasta, rice, tins and cereals.

Pupil Ryan Hooper, nine, said: ‘I think it was a great idea to bring in tins because there's a lot of hungry people around today. It's important for us to share.’

Many families’ wage earners have been furloughed, with the Finanical Times reporting almost 50 per cent of firms will do so. Employees are seeing a 20 per cent reduction in pay.

This increased pressure, along with restrictions on movement limiting food supply, led to Paulsgrove Foodbank in Cosham being unable to meet demand.

Food bank volunteer and retired microbiologist, Paul Heawood, 72, said: ‘A couple of Thursdays ago was by far the busiest food bank session we’d ever seen. By the end stocks were at zero on many items.

‘We couldn’t see a clear way forward for the next supply.’

However, the generous children ensured last week’s need was met.

Paul added: ‘Pupils, parents and staff had collected a large donation of food. This was such a boost, not only to our stock, but also to our spirits. This enabled us to meet needs for that week’s food bank.’

Mr Payne was not surprised by the generous donation of so many items.

‘It’s at times like this the community needs to pull together. The children always come up trumps and I’m very proud of their efforts,’

he said.

Anyone who would like to support any of the four Trussell Trust food banks across the city can do so by going to portsmouth.foodbank.org.uk

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