Paulsgrove children to have access to free breakfasts over the summer holidays as part of a new initiative

CHILDREN in Paulsgrove will have access to free breakfasts throughout the summer holidays under a new initiative launched by the Portsmouth Independents Party.

Portsmouth city councillor George Madgwick
Portsmouth city councillor George Madgwick

Portsmouth city councillors George and Brian Madgwick have announced the scheme, which is expected to cost them up to £4,000, in a bid to help 'ease the pressure' of the cost of living crisis on families.

'Paulsgrove is an area with a lot of social housing, higher rates of unemployment and lower income in general and there's been a really noticeable increase in the number of people using the foodbank recently,' Cllr George Madgwick said.

'Our schools do a fantastic job supporting families during term time and we wanted to do something to extend that into the summer.'

Hosted at St Michael & All Angels church each weekend, the breakfast service will be open to every family living in the ward with support also available from specialist charities.

The initiative will start after the July 23 end of the school year and run until the end of August.

'The cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on so many families,' he added. 'Families that have been just about managing to cope for the last few years have been tipped over the edge by inflation, particularly the huge increase in energy costs.

'We have the ability to give back and felt this would be the most effective way of doing it.

'Both schools have already contacted us and we will be meeting with them later this week but they've been very supportive already.'

He added that packed lunches and food parcels would also be provided to families.

The scheme will be funded by the two councillors personally rather than being financed by Portsmouth City Council.

Cllr George Madgwick said this filled part of his election pledge to use all of his councillor allowance to fund projects across his ward.

As previously reported, food prices this year reached a 40-year high, with 7.3 million adults – representing more than 10 per cent of all households – having suffered food insecurity in the , a 57 per cent hike since January.