Portsmouth Food Bank scoops a big win on the lottery

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A GROUP providing food and advice for people in crisis was on the receiving end for a change thanks to a Big Lottery Fund cheque for £77,787.

Hope Portsmouth received the funding for its Food Bank project under the lottery’s reaching communities programme which aims to support those most in need.

The moment BBC news presenter Louise Minchin surprised the staff and volunteers with the cheque was screened on BBC1’s National Lottery: In It To Win It programme on Saturday night.

Martin Mant, Food Bank project manager, said: ‘The visit by the film crew and Louise generated excitement among the volunteers and other people who were at the centre that day.

‘Louise was really interested in what we are doing and rolled up her sleeves and got involved in all aspects of the Food Bank’s work.

‘For us, gaining the grant means we can concentrate on the people and the community we serve instead of worrying about how to cover the running costs of the project including paying bills.

‘This is truly a project-changing amount of money that will in turn help change people’s lives for the better.’

Hope works with those in crisis affected by issues including redundancy, homelessness, domestic abuse, mental health problems and drug and alcohol-related issues.

The grant will enable the group to expand its existing service to offer hot food and it will mean Hope can join forces with a recycling company to collect furniture and clothing.