NEWS COMMENT: Think of those relying on food banks when you shop

We know many of you will be doing your big Christmas food shop in the next couple of days.

Thursday, 21st December 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 21st December 2017, 11:16 am
From left, Sue Ellis ,Debbie Darke and Chris Westcott with one of the last food boxes ready to be collected from the Waterlooville food bank this week Picture: Malcolm Wells (171219-1365)

There you’ll be, trundling your trolley up and down supermarket aisles throwing your usual caution to the festive wind.

‘One bag of sprouts? No, let’s have two, just to be sure. A wedge of Stilton? Nope, we’ll grab a whole one because you know how much Auntie Doris loves it. Oh, and while we’re at it, better get two bottles of port. Don’t want to run out...’

Perhaps you’ll be in the lucky position of being affluent enough to complete a two-hit shop – buying for the new year jollifications too.

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Whichever it may be, your trolley will doubtless be overflowing, your bank balance seriously denuded and much of that trolleyload will still be at the back of the fridge or cupboard on February 1.

Most of us – those lucky enough to complete this seasonal variety of a supermarket sweep – do it at some time and it’s a disgraceful waste.

It is even worse when you consider the thousands of people depending on food banks for their yuletide fare.

And, as we report today, those numbers have grown alarmingly to record levels.

Phillip Rutt, of Fareham and Gosport Basics, reports a ‘shocking’ rise of 12 per cent in the numbers given food in the past seven years. It’s now giving handouts to 4,500 people a year.

In Portsmouth demand is reported to have doubled and in the past week has gone ‘berserk’.

It’s shameful that a first-world country such as ours should have so many dependent on food banks at any time of the year, let alone Christmas.

So, when you have shoved that groaning trolley through the checkout, why not de-clutter it and hand some of the stuff you know deep down that you’ll never eat to one of this area’s food banks?