Donations totalling £750 have been made to the HSDC Alton College food bank to support students and staff in need.

Resurrection Furniture gave £500 and Alton Round Table a further £250, which was presented by the 8th Alton Scout Group.

The food bank was set up after the college’s health and well-being department identified an increasing need from students struggling with basics such as three meals a day, hot food and toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste and washing tablets for their clothes.

The team also found an increasing number of students were sofa surfing or temporarily homeless, so they created overnight packs containing essential items. Support from the food bank is also available to college staff if needed.

Initially the service was running with donations from staff, but as demand began to outstrip supply the college started to look for funding from the community to help support the students.

Health and safeguarding co-ordinator Emma Ross said: “We are extremely grateful for the donations – without their generosity we would not have been able to purchase the items to meet the students’ needs.

“I have seen so many young people that are so grateful to be able to have some basic items such as deodorant or toothpaste.

“We all know that being hungry or not feeling clean can be a real barrier to learning, so giving a student the ability to cook a hot meal or wash their clothes can make a big difference to them being able to engage in education.”

To find out more information, or to offer support to the HSDC Alton College food bank, email [email protected]