From burnt toast to chicken curry in the Men's Kitchen

For a lot of men – of all ages – the prospect of venturing into the kitchen to cook a meal is rather a daunting one. Even though it's impossible to walk into a book shop nowadays without being confronted by dozens of recipe books – all claiming to make cooking easy.

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Amnesty International recognise Gail Baird of FOOD Portsmouth as an Inspirational Woman of Portsmouth

Congratulations to Gail Baird who's one of just five women from Portsmouth to be recognised in a campaign by Amnesty International to celebrate 100 years of suffragette spirit, and acknowledge their work by placing them on the Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain.

Working within her community at the John Pounds Centre, Gail develops and promotes a fair and positive food culture across the city. She achieves this via FOOD Portsmouth which tackles food poverty and inequalities with projects such as FoodCycle Community Meals and the 'Holiday Hunger' programme, provide training and educational opportunities around healthy eating and food choices, and programs which develop green urban spaces to grow foodstuff.

FoodCycle Portsmouth's Festive Feast

With temperatures hovering around freezing, the period between Christmas and New Year was a horrible time for rough sleepers. That’s why volunteers with FoodCycle Portsmouth, a charity which provides hot meals to vulnerable people, took over a church for a Christmas feast.

King's Church, in Somers Road, was transformed for the event, on Thursday, December 28, when 100 people sat down for a delicious meal with chocolates, crackers, coffee and presents. Guests, who might be homeless, isolated or just finding the festive period to much, came from the local and wider community. All the food was donated by supermarkets who willingly handed over their surplus stock for a good cause.

Gail Baird, from FoodCycle, said: ‘We noticed last year there were a number of places open on Christmas day for those in need, but in the period between Christmas and the New Year most support services were shut. That week can be challenging for the best of us, but for those whose life-line’s are not there, it can be desperate. We decided to bridge that gap and are delighted it was so special, not just for our guests but for the volunteers too.’

More than 35 volunteers from FoodCycle and the LifeHouse worked through the day lifting and shifting equipment and food to cook up a veritable feast – including all the seasonal trimmings.

Gail added: ‘Guests were struck by the beautiful and atmospheric setting and told us they thoroughly enjoyed the fabulous food chocolates, crackers and coffees, gifts and of course the ubiquitous mince pies’.

The event was organised in partnership with the LifeHouse and supported by Tesco Fratton, Asda, Waitrose, the Rotary Club of Waterlooville, John Pounds Church, John Pounds Centre, King’s Church, members of the public and MMD Shipping.

‘It could not have been possible without the continued generosity of all our volunteers who we thank very much. What a night! Happy new year and roll on 2018’, said Gail.

FoodCycle Portsmouth always needs more volunteers. If you think you can help, call Gail on 07809 558474 or e-mail Alternatively, go to


Holiday Fun & Kids Eat Free

Summer holidays are upon us and, for many families with children who get free school lunches, providing those extra meals can be a struggle.

After the sucess of last year's pilot, Food Portsmouth is working with PCC's six adventure playgrounds again to provide a free lunch on selected days.  Beans on toast and fruit will be prepared by the kids, playground staff and volunteers to make sure the kids continue to get a warm meal in a safe, active and sociable environment.

Last year we found some interesting, and sometimes shocking things. We found that for many children, lunch was the first meal of the day during the summer holidays; 45% of children asked stated that they hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning. However, 79% of children HAD eaten lunch the day before.

Eating breakfast is an important meal at any age. It helps to provide us with energy for the day ahead so we can concentrate, keep cravings in check, and have the energy to go about our daily tasks. To discover that almost half of children asked hadn’t had breakfast that morning is a concern, particularly if that is what happens during term time; impacting on learning.

We also found that 33% of children had not eaten any vegetables the previous day, but 39% had drunk a sugary soft drink that morning when asked. This highlights a worrying trend that children are not eating the fresh and nutritious diet they need to grow healthily, and instead consuming too much sugar in the form of soft drinks.

This year, not only will we continue to get a local perspective on summer holiday eating and activity trends, but the programme will also form part of Northumbria University's national research into child poverty. #summerholidays #schoolsout #communityeals #healthyeating

A People's Food Policy

England's first people-led food & farming plan is launched!

We're very excited to announce our support of A PEOPLE'S FOOD POLICY.

Our vision is of a food system where everybody, regardless of income, status or background, has secure access to enough good food at all times, without compromising on the wellbeing of people, the health of the environment and the ability of future generations to provide for themselves.

A People’s Food Policy is a ground-breaking manifesto outlining a people’s vision of food and farming in England that is supported by over 80 food and farming organisations. The report draws on 18 months of extensive, nation-wide consultations with grassroots organisations, NGOs, trade unions, community projects, small businesses and individuals. It has resulted in a set of policy proposals and a vision for change that is rooted in the lived experiences and needs of people most affected by the failures in the current food system.

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