This year for Lent, instead of giving something up I decided to do the Trussell Trust’s 40 for 40 challenge. This involves giving 40 pence per day for the duration of Lent and donating it to your local food bank. With the addition of gift aid, this comes to £20, which goes a long way towards supporting families in crisis. As well as the 40 for 40 I decided to place a box in our office and ask my colleagues to donate items for Portsmouth Foodbank. People really got involved and soon I had to add an extra box, and then another two!
Portsmouth Foodbank is a cause very close to my heart, as I volunteered there many years ago and have friends who work and volunteer there still. As a business we sponsored LinkedIn Local Portsmouth 4 earlier this year and the £1,514 raised from that went to Portsmouth Foodbank.
The Trussell Trust supports a network of food banks all over the country, who provide play a vital role in their communities by donating food parcels to those in crisis. They have worked with nutritionists to ensure food parcels contains sufficient nutrition for at least three days worth of healthy, balanced meals for individuals and families. Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. The simple act of providing food makes a big difference and helps prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.
Portsmouth Foodbank is a project founded by local churches, community groups and individuals working together towards stopping hunger in our local area. Run by King’s Church Portsmouth, they also have bases at North End Baptist and Paulsgrove Baptist to make it accessible for people all over the city. Portsmouth Foodbank has over 25 volunteers each week and is supported by local people, churches, businesses, schools and supermarkets. In the last year the team collected and distributed 55 tonnes of food!
Non-perishable food is donated, then volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need. Food banks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers and police to identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher. Clients bring their voucher to a food bank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to direct people to agencies able to solve any longer-term problems.
On Friday evening we delivered our boxes of food to Carly, our local Foodbank Manager in Portsmouth. They have just had a brand new warehouse built and it was great to see that all ready for the racking to be installed and loaded up with food.
Carly sent over a thank you and let us know that in total we collected 66.7kg of food! Many of my colleagues also donated money via their website too, which is great. If you would like to make a donation to this very worthy cause, please click here.
By Ruth Seals