Last week, Portsmouth’s Citywide Harvest was launched to help support people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and families in need by collecting tinned goods and dried foods that can be given to food banks, which have seen a rise in usage up and down the country since March.
St James’ Church in Milton is supporting the appeal – called With Thankful Hearts – and is due to hold its harvest festival service this weekend but although the church is filled with donations, this year it won’t be filled with people.
Father Paul Armstead said: ‘We usually have Scout and Cub groups come along and the church is full but this year we are restricted with what we can do which is why we wanted to support and focus on the Citywide Harvest.
‘We collect for the St Mary’s Church food bank and we have heard from them about the increase in the number of people needing help and we have heard stories from them about what situations people are in.
‘I think from the start of the pandemic there has been a real sense of community spirit and pulling together to help one another and I hope that this continues with the harvest and in the future.’
Schools, churches and libraries across the city have become donation points for tinned and canned goods, pasta, rice and other dried foods until October 4.
Assistant curate at St James’, father Hugo Deadman added: ‘At harvest we give thanks to God for all the good gifts around us. But that also means being all too aware of those in our communities who do not have their fair share.
‘So this year we're part of a citywide effort to go the extra mile and stock up our food banks to support struggling or vulnerable people through the With Thankful Hearts Campaign.
At St James Milton we already support our local food banks every week - but the congregation is really going the extra mile. We know just how tough these times are for so many in our city.’
The organisations involved include churches of all denominations in Portsmouth, the Roberts Centre, Portsmouth City Council, HIVE Portsmouth, and The News.
Donations can be made until October 4 at the following places:
Cathedral Church of St John Cathedral Church of St Thomas All Saints, Portsea Church of the Ascension, North End Church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea Church of the Resurrection and St Andrew’s, Farlington Harbour Church at St Alban’s, Copnor Harbour Church at St George’s, Portsea Lifehouse, Albert Road NEBC North End Baptist Church Portsmouth Family Church Portsmouth Pathway at St Luke’s Salvation Army Lake Road – The Haven St Cuthbert’s, Copnor St Faith’s, Landport St Francis’, Hilsea St James’, Milton St Jude’s, Southsea St Luke’s, Somerstown St Margaret’s, Eastney St Mark’s, North End St Mary’s, Fratton (open 9 – Noon each day) St Michael and All Angels, Paulsgrove St Nicholas’, Copnor St Peter and Paul, Wymering St Philip’s, Cosham St Saviour’s, Stamshaw St Wilfrid’s, Buckland University Chaplaincy, Empower Centre, Kingston Road (open Mondays 8am to 1pm and on Thursdays 1pm to 5pm via the Kingston Road entrance)
Libraries (open Monday to Friday from 9.30am until 5pm)
Central, Beddow, Cosham, North End, Southsea
Arundel Court Primary, Manor Infant School, Newbridge Junior School and St Swithuns.