CHILDREN across the Bognor Regis area living in food poverty will benefit from a food festival.
The Big Bite Artisan Food Festival will take place in Hotham Park next month and a big part of the event will be the creation of a food mountain designed to help youngsters struggling to eat well across the area.
The three-day festival, which will be the first of its kind in the town has been organised by Chris Allwood.
Mr Allwood said: “In Arun, which includes its two largest town’s of Bognor Regis and Littlehampton an average of 21 per cent of children are living in poverty.
“That means these children are can be undernourished, malnourished or both. It can have a huge impact on all aspects of their development.
“Children who grow up hungry are less likely to do well at school and often suffer bullying, emotional problems and do not develop as well as they could intellectually.”
Mr Allwood has gained his information from government statistic and hopes the Big Bite Food Mountain will collect some 24,000 items of nonperishable food. It is hoped the goods will come from through donations from supermarkets, farm shops, churches and churches.
“At the end of the festival the food mountain will divided equally between the food banks in Bognor and Littlehampton as they are best placed to make sure they get to the families that need it most,” added Mr Allwood.
Mr Allwood is arranging for wheelie bins to be placed at various locations and a collection will take place at the Tesco store in Shripney Road tomorrow and Saturday.
Collections will start at 10am and run to 7pm tomorrow, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday.
A further food drive will take place at the supermarket on September 6 and 7.
The food festival will also hopes to encourage children to learn about the importance of food through its Big Bite Bake Off.
The cookery competition, which is being run in conjunction with the Womans Institute, will see volunteers take baking activities into local schools and talk to pupils about where their food comes from and buying local.
Youngsters will be given an educational pack which will include an application form. To be in with a chance of winning one of four luxury food hampers on offer all pupils need to do is create their product using at least one locally sourced ingredient.
They must bring it along to the event where it will be judged.
The festival will take run from September 20 to 22.
There will be a vintage food and entertainment area, cookery demonstrations from Rosemary Moon a local food champion and published cook, live music and dance. There will also be a micro brewery marquee.
For more information visit www.bigbitefestival.co.uk.