THE Hampshire Cricket Foundation has awarded a £5,000 grant to a food bank based in Hedge End.

Food Centre is an initiative, run by Kings Community Church, that provides free food to families struggling during the cost of living crisis.

The grant will allow the food bank to purchase an industrial fridge and crucial supplies to help maintain and improve their service.

Southern Vipers all-rounder Alice Monaghan and Hampshire's Ali Orr visited the food bank to learn more about the charity’s work in the community and see the impact of the donation.

Alasdair Duncan, who manages the charity's work, revealed how the demand has risen in the last year.

He said: "Around April, March time we were seeing about 12 families per session, which equates to about 30 or 40 people.

"Now we’re seeing about 20 to 25 families, which equates to about 70 people. The new fridge helps us with stock levels, maintaining those because the stock is going down considerably."

Orr was impressed by Food Centre's work and was grateful for the warm reception he received on the visit.

He said: "It’s great just to see people, the community, and how everyone comes together and works so hard.

"It’s been very welcoming, and coming into a new environment, new people, obviously very nervous but I’m feeling so welcome.”

Monaghan added: "I’ve met loads of wonderful people today who have given up their time to help people who are more misfortunate than them.”