‘There is just so much generosity out there’

Debbie Darke, and Becki Simmons at Waterlooville Food Bank
Debbie Darke, and Becki Simmons at Waterlooville Food Bank

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EVERY year, volunteers at the Waterlooville Food Bank hand out special hampers at Christmas time.

And thanks to The News’ Christmas Food Appeal, it means even more people in need across our area will be able to have a happier holiday.

Last year, around 65 hampers were given out to people in the Waterlooville area.

Debbie Darke is a volunteer at the food bank.

She is thrilled that The News has brought back its campaign.

‘It’s brilliant because it brings to the forefront the whole issue of people surviving at this time,’ she said.

‘There is so much generosity out there. People don’t realise that there is so much help.

‘Some people are too shy and proud to step up.

‘At Christmas it’s hard. You don’t want your kids to go without. That’s why we try to supply the things that everybody else has.’

Supermarkets across the area have agreed to support the appeal.

All we ask is that you buy an extra item when you go shopping and put it in a News trolley on the way out.

You can also make a donation directly at food banks.

The food will then be distributed to food banks, refuges and shelters across the area.

‘It makes a big difference,’ Debbie added.

‘People are happy to give the food because they know they are helping local 

‘It could be their next-door neighbour or the person across the road who never says anything to anybody but is in a real dilemma.’

Debbie said there has been a gradual rise in need in the area.

She said: ‘We do find that as the months go past we see an increase. That’s down to the changes in the benefits system.

‘They are having their jobs cut.

‘People are always extremely grateful.

‘Christmas is an emotional time.

‘People come up and give you a hug.

‘They are crying.

‘It just takes one of the pressures off that you get at Christmas time.’

Where to donate


- Sainsbury’s, Farlington

- Asda, Fratton

- Tesco, Crasswell Street

- Morrisons, Anchorage Park

- Morrisons, Victory Retail Park

- Sainsbury’s, Commercial Road

- Salvation Army, Lake Road, Monday - Friday, 10am to 3pm

- Pompey in the Community, Anson Road, Fratton, Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm n The News, Lakeside, North Harbour


- Morrisons, Horndean

- Asda, Portland Road

- Sainsburys, Hambledon Road

- Waterlooville Food Bank, Monday - 9.30am to 11.30am, Friday - 12pm to 2pm, Wecock Church, Kite Close


- Asda, Speedfields Park

- Sainsbury’s, Broadcut

- Tesco, Quay Street

- Fareham and Gosport Basics Food Bank, Mon/Wed/Fri - 1pm to 3pm, Aspect House, Westbury Road, Fareham

- The News, West Street


- Morrisons, Walpole Road

- Tesco, Alver Valley


- Portsdown Community Church, weekday mornings 10am to 12.30pm, The Beacon, 69-73 Meridian Centre, Havant