WITH austerity measures taking their toll and with more cuts on the way, organisations in Hampshire are coming together to help people living on the breadline.

Christian housing charity Green Pastures has organised a meeting for businesses, charities and churches to help the county’s most needy.

Matters discussed on the day and decisions made will depend on the organisations who attend.

A number of organisations have already shown interest in the Poverty Crisis Summit, including local councils and charities, as well as the Southampton Christian Network.

After four years of recession and cuts, and more cuts on their way, including April’s changes to housing benefit, poverty is affecting more and more people and has become high on the agenda for churches.

According to a report by Oxfam, more than one in five people in the UK currently live below the poverty line, with many of these at risk of becoming unintentionally homeless as they struggle to keep up with rent arrears.

Pete Cunningham, known as Pastor Pete, from Green Pastures, said: “It’s not about who created the need for cuts, nor is it about why the cuts are necessary.

“It’s about the effect those cuts are having on individuals, families and communities, and how we can at least cushion some of those effects by working together as people who do actually care.”

The Poverty Crisis Summit will run from 10am to 3.30pm, on Thursday, February 21, at Testwood Baptist Church Conference Centre, Totton.

Organisations interested in getting involved should call John Cunningham at Green Pastures, on 07970 867157 or email john@greenpastures.net.

Details of the meeting come just a week after the Bishops of Winchester and Southampton got behind the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign, which aims to put pressure on David Cameron and other G8 members to put an end to the main causes of hunger.