Powered by Blogger.

Reverse Advent Calendar #FoodbankAdvent

Sunday, 4 November 2018
We're one of the millions of JAM (just about managing) families in the UK.  There's not a lot to spare each month and we have to be really careful with our money.  There's been times in the past when we've relied on the Food Bank.  My husband lost his job and had to retrain when our eldest was 6 weeks old, we were without regular income for a year and the Food Bank was a godsend.  We also turned to the Food Bank when my husband had a brain haemorrhage 7 days before our youngest daughter was born and was off work for 5 months. 

I make sure that we regularly donate items to our local food bank, even when times are tight for us.  They were brilliant when we needed help so I donate a few items each week.  We increase our contributions this time of year because there's so much extra demand. 

To encourage our children to get involved, and make our contribution more festive, we've been taking part in the Reverse Advent campaign for several years.  During November we put one item per day into large reusable grocery bags, then donate the items to our local Food Bank in early December.

With a normal Advent Calendar, you take something out each day, with a Reverse Advent Calendar you put something in each day.  Our children really enjoy picking out items to put in and we make sure to include non food items such as toiletries, etc.

Why regularly donate to the foodbank? Because over 90% of the food that foodbanks provide is donated by the public.  The Trussell Trust Foodbank network provided 1,332,952 three day food supplies to people in crisis between 1st April 2017 and 31st March 2018, a 13% increase from the previous year. And the Trussell Trust typically sees a 45% spike in referrals for the three-day emergency food parcels in the two weeks before Christmas.

There are many reasons for the increase in demand for Food Bank parcels at this time of year such as higher energy bills as temperatures drop, the cost of extra meals when the kids aren’t at school during Half Term and the Christmas holidays, and November is a 5 week month which means wages are stretched further than usual.  For many families there's just not enough money coming in to cope with the cost of living let alone Christmas.

We gather our items in November so that the Food Bank has time to process them in early December before peak demand hits.  If you want to take part in the campaign contact your local Food Bank to see which items are most needed, and also if they are making up Christmas hampers comprised of a specific list of items.

As well as canned and dried food, consider donating toiletries, nappies, baby milk, baby food, sanitary products, and pet food.  Our local Food Bank prefers 500g packs and 1 litre cartons, and currently has a list of urgently needed items. as well as asking people to register to fill a Christmas Hamper with specific items. 

If a whole Reverse Advent Calendar seems daunting, put a couple of items in the donation trolley at your local supermarket when you do your shopping. Every donation helps, for the cost of a takeaway coffee you could purchase items which will really help those in need.

No automatic alt text available.

I hope you'll join in the #FoodbankAdvent campaign and help make Christmas a bit more bearable for those in need.  Start a new family tradition, get workmates involved, give what you can because it all makes a difference.


1 comment:

  1. Great post Michelle I really want to do this this year, going to get a bag for life out later and get going!


Back to Top