Generous pupils at Hart Plain Infant School donated ‘20 large bags of shopping’ to Waterlooville Food Bank.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, biscuits, pasta and tinned produce were collected during a whole school assembly celebrating the importance of food and those involved in its production.
Jack Ellis, six, commented: ‘We got lots of food for the harvest which is really good as it will go to the food bank for people in our area.’
Classmate Rebecca Lea, also six, added: ‘We don't want people to starve and without food we can't live well.’
The school celebrates its Harvest Festival every year with donations normally going to residents in local care homes. However this year’s Covid restrictions have made this impossible.
Headteacher Ruth Kenny commented: ‘The parents have been so generous and I’m delighted with how the children have responded to this initiative. The food bank were delighted and could not believe the amount of food we had collected.
‘It’s really important that as a school we support our local community. I’m aware that some of our families are currently having to access local food banks.
‘The Harvest Festival is important for the children to learn about all the people that it takes to get the food we buy into the shops. We also talked about how important it is to help those less fortunate than ourselves.’
The need for support with basic food provision has increased during the Covid pandemic with Waterlooville Food Bank reporting a ‘doubling in the number of families’ dependent on their help.
After collecting the children’s kind donations, food bank volunteer manager Deborah Dark said: ‘It has been a brilliant amount of donations. We weren’t sure what would happen with the pandemic but it has been amazing that the school has been able to use its harvest festival to donate so much food.’
Pupil Jared Brock, six, added: ‘Getting the food meant we were helping people who don't have any.’
Deborah also confirmed that a number of other schools in the area have been supporting the food bank with donations.