Cash boost of £10,000 for Gosport Food Partnership will help residents struggling through hard times

PEOPLE struggling to buy groceries due to the coronavirus crisis will benefit from a £10,000 cash boost for Gosport Food Partnership.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:52 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 11:52 am

Residents experiencing tough times have been helped by this group of organisations which have joined forces, and this funding from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation will help pay for food, freezers, cooking equipment, fuel, PPE and more.

Partners include Gosport Borough Council, Jacob's Well Care Centre, Family Church, the Salvation Army, the housing provider Radian Group and Gosport Borough FC.

Gosport Voluntary Action is also supporting the effort, and Citizens Advice is helping by advising residents on budgeting, benefits and employment.

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Michelle and Neil Bunter, from Family Church Gosport, have helped to deliver weekly hampers to families in need since the beginning of lockdown

Nicky Staveley, chief officer of Gosport Voluntary Action, said: ‘Food has proved to be something that has given some people joy through this period and others great anxiety.

‘We want sustainable food to bring people together from all walks of life and to improve their health and wellbeing.’

The cash will go to food banks and other voluntary organisations providing food supplies, meals and shopping services.

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It will help the partnership prepare for increased unemployment and more demand during the winter from elderly and vulnerable people who are less able to queue outside shops.

Cllr Mark Hook, leader of the council, said: ‘Volunteers have provided essential support for Gosport residents and we have been very mindful of the pressures on voluntary groups throughout the Covid-19 emergency. This funding will help build resilience over the coming months.’

In the longer term, the partnership also aims to launch projects to reduce food waste, help residents grow their own food and boost healthy eating.

Keith Slater, Gosport Borough FC's Covid-19 coordinator, said: ‘There are some significant challenges still to come in supporting individuals and families through this crisis and the club is proud to be doing its bit along with other stakeholders.’

Claire Comrie, a community support worker with Family Church, added: ‘It will make such a big difference, enabling us to continue to put food on families' tables as well as develop our storage facilities and cafe services to make our services sustainable for the months ahead.’

To request help from the food partnership, residents can phone (023) 9254 5558.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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