VOLUNTEERS at Portsmouth’s FoodCycle have spoken of the success of a free Christmas Day lunch.
Scores of people who would otherwise have spent the day alone joined together for the event at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral.
Volunteers from FoodCycle collect food from retailers that would otherwise be thrown away, and cook tasty, healthy three -course meals for people most in need in Portsmouth.
Preparations began on Christmas Eve when the vegetables were sorted for the big day, by the 16 volunteers who gave up their Christmas Day to help.
A delicious five-course meal of turkey or mushroom bake with all the trimmings was made for 60 people, using more than 150kg of donated food that would otherwise be thrown away.
Gail Baird organised the meal. She said; ‘FoodCycle Portsmouth’s first Christmas Day lunch event was a huge success – and on so many levels.
‘Many new friendships were made at the Christmas lunch and it is hoped that the success of this year’s event will carry on next year.’
She said the highlight for many guests was the opportunity to meet new people and to enjoy the festive cheer with others, rather than being alone.
Donations were made by Tesco Fratton, Waitrose Southsea, Ben Ainslie Racing, All about Tea, Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Hedge End FoodBank, Robert Dyas in Southsea and Home Coffee.
The plans were even mentioned in parliament by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond who praised the organisers of the event.
Generous donors also raised more than £180 to help pay for the event.
FoodCyle volunteers cook hot meals every Tuesday at the John Pounds Centre café, Queen Street, Old Portsmouth and every Thursday at the King’s Church, Somers Road, Somerstown.
The charity is always looking for donations and volunteers. To find out more, call (023) 9289 2010 or go to foodcycle.org.uk/location/portsmouth-hub.