Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt to fund three new food pantries as existing services report growing need

A TRIO of new food pantries to support those in need could be coming to the north of the city amid growing need, with the MP for Portsmouth North stumping up cash to get them off the ground.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 4:51 pm

MP Penny Mordaunt is reaching out to organisations across the Baffins, Nelson and Paulsgrove wards to use proceeds from her new book to back the expansion of food pantries.

All proceeds from the sale of her book ‘Greater: Britain After The Storm’ are going to benefit charities in Portsmouth and across the UK.

Donations equal to a years running costs – which can be in excess of £2,500 – have already been made to food pantries in Cosham and North End.

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The opening of North End Pantry at North End Baptist Church, Portsmouth on Thursday 17th June 2021. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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The MP for Portsmouth North said: ‘I want to use the proceeds from Greater to provide social capital to enable projects such as these to get off the ground. I hope people will agree it could really help a number in our communities and will want to help get three more of these community assets established.

‘I have started the process of reaching out to potential new pantry partners and am keen to hear from as many organisations who think this is something they could run as a host organisation.’

It comes as a food pantries across the area have warned that they expect growing demand due to the end of the government-backed furlough scheme, a reduction in Universal Credit, and rising gas prices.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A manager at the North End Pantry said: ‘In a busy week, we’re seeing at least 80 families.

‘We really do expect all the news for it to increases – especially if the Universal Credit change happens.

‘Lots of families are struggling after the last 18 months.’

Portchester Community Association has warned that demand for its food pantry has grown over the summer – and increasing levels of demand are expected over the coming months.

Food pantries are open to anyone, providing a wide range of shopping essentials for a small of just £4.

Hampshire County Council funds a total of 15 food pantries across the county.

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