Month-long Portsmouth campaign With Thankful Hearts is urging people to donate food to pantries and food banks

A month-long campaign backed by The News is hoping to encourage people to donate food to food banks and pantries as people across the city struggle with the cost-of-living crisis.
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‘With Thankful Hearts’ is a citywide project that is pleading with residents across Portsmouth to donate food to food banks, pantries or suppliers, and adopt a food bank to help with the increasing need of the vital facilities.

The campaign is set to be a month long, starting this week, and has been backed by Portsmouth City Council who are going to show the scheme on the big screens in Guildhall, councillors and schools.

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The much-needed initiative has been created in a collaboration between local churches, Hive and the food bank network, all of which want to offer as much support as possible to people struggling financially across the city.

A month-long campaign is urging Portsmouth residents to donate food items to food banks, pantries and suppliers as the cost of living continues to soar. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)A month-long campaign is urging Portsmouth residents to donate food items to food banks, pantries and suppliers as the cost of living continues to soar. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
A month-long campaign is urging Portsmouth residents to donate food items to food banks, pantries and suppliers as the cost of living continues to soar. (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

The campaign is also asking that people ‘adopt’ a food bank for a year and give back as much as they can throughout the winter months, which is anticipated to be extremely difficult for people who are already struggling.

Councillor Suzy Horton said: ‘I love the idea of “adopting a food pantry” to continue that generosity throughout the year.’

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The ‘adopt’ a food bank idea comes as the cost of living continues to rise, with energy prices soaring and an increase in people turning to food banks, which are now urging more people to donate as stock levels become low.

'With Thankful Hearts' Portsmouth's month-long campaign which is asking people to donate to a food bank and then 'adopt' a food bank for the rest of the year'With Thankful Hearts' Portsmouth's month-long campaign which is asking people to donate to a food bank and then 'adopt' a food bank for the rest of the year
'With Thankful Hearts' Portsmouth's month-long campaign which is asking people to donate to a food bank and then 'adopt' a food bank for the rest of the year

The Rev Canon Bob White, Vicar of St Mary’s Portsea and Area Dean of Portsmouth, said: ‘Although the utility bills increases and inflation affects us all, it has a particular impact on those on the margins. We all then have a choice to either reduce our costs and look after ourselves, or to be aware of others and seek to also support them.

‘Our local food banks, pantries, larders and others who provide food are also noticing that their supplies and stocks are decreasing as the demands increase and as the availability of food appears to reduce.

‘Over the last two years as a city we have come together and supported a Harvest season campaign in our community groups, schools and faith groups. There was a strong sense of us showing that deep community spirit of which Pompey people are rightly proud.’

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Cllr Suzy Horton, added: ‘My childhood memories from this this time of year are about Harvest; hearing stories of the past of people being grateful for the abundant crops, bringing food into school for people less fortunate than myself and learning to be thankful for having meals every day.

‘Some 50 years later, sadly the need is greater than ever. With a looming recession, spiralling inflation and a fuel crisis, people in this city will be sometimes choosing between heating and eating as they deal with a very real cost of living crisis. The generosity of those who are fortunate to be able to spare some food for others will make such a difference to the lives of many of their neighbours.’

Cllr Horton is supporting the campaign and is going to be introducing it to the local schools across the city to try and encourage children and families to get involved in the cause.

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Father Bob has said that the schools in the parish always get involved with the various campaigns that the church and community establish annually.

He said: ‘It is very much about how we all work together, not just the faith community, or the voluntary community, or even the business community. It is about working together so that we are pooling all of our resources. We are all doing it together and as a city we can respond together.

‘I think people are genuinely concerned about they are going to get through it. As a city we know that when people face a challenge, people respond generously and that goes across the board.’

The main aim of the campaign is that people support the food banks for, not only this month, but for the rest of the year to see people through the winter, and it is hoped that everyone will get involved.