#FoodbankAdvent : Give something back this Christmas with a reverse advent calendar
Last year, The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest Foodbank Network with more than 400 foodbanks, gave 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. This was an increase of 6.6% on the previous year. With increases in the cost of living, changes to the benefits system, the unstable job market and zero hours contracts, more and more people, (including working families), are turning to Foodbanks to make ends meet.
According to The Trussell Trust, their foodbank volunteers worked a staggering 2,909,196 hours of unpaid work last year. Calculating the value of their time using the minimum wage, (currently £7.50 an hour for the over 25s), this equates to £21,818,967 a year; or 55,945 hours, with a value of £419,587 each week.
With thirteen million people living below the poverty line in the UK, foodbanks have never been busier, offering vital relief to those in need in the form of emergency supplies of food and non-food items.
We feel very blessed as a family. We’ve never been hungry. We have good jobs, a roof over our heads and food on the table. So as we looked towards Christmas and the frenzy of busyness and gift buying, we really wanted to do something to help.
Whilst Zoella was flogging her £50 14-day advent calendar containing gifts you can probably live without, I joined the UK Money Bloggers #FoodbankAdvent campaign to encourage people to donate to their local Trussell Trust Food Bank by collecting for a Reverse Advent Calendar. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, a Reverse Advent Calendar works by adding a donation of much-needed food or non-food items to a box each day for 25 days and then donating the items to the local Foodbank.
We started our Reverse Advent Calendar at the beginning of November. It’s been a great way to demonstrate to our kids the importance of giving as well as receiving at Christmas time.
It’s not too late to join the #FoodbankAdvent campaign.
Even though there’s less than a month to go until Christmas, if you’d like to support the campaign and start collecting items for a reverse advent calendar, it’s not too late! Trussell Trust foodbanks will gratefully receive your box of items, even if you get it to them the New Year (or at any time of year for that matter).
Every little helps.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to donate 25 days worth of donations to your local Foodbank: individual donations are gratefully received, too. In fact, every donation matters, as more than 90% of the food The Trussell Trust distributes via their foodbanks is donated by the public.
Alternatively, you can support The Trussell Trust’s #EveryCanHelps campaign in partnership with Tesco. Simply take your donations to any Tesco, Tesco Express, Metro and Extra stores from 30th November to 2nd December 2017 to be part of the UK’s biggest food collection initiative.
For every food item donated during the campaign, Tesco will make a financial contribution equivalent to 20% of the value of the food. For further details, click here: #EveryCanHelps
Suggestions for foodbank donations.
If you’d like to donate non-perishable food and non-food items to your local foodbank, it’s worth giving them a call to find out if there are any specific items they need. Alternatively, here are some suggestions:
- Food – cereal, soup, rice, pasta sauce, tinned meat, tea/coffee, biscuits, cakes, (why not add some festive treats like Christmas Pudding or mince pies)
- Toiletries – shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel
- Household items – laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing-up liquid, bleach.
- Feminine products – sanitary towels and tampons
- Baby supplies – nappies (especially larger sizes), baby wipes, nappy cream, baby shampoo, baby food
Find out more about The Trussell Trust.
For more information about Foodbanks, donations and other ways you can help those suffering from food poverty, visit The Trussell Trust website: HERE.
Over to you.
If you are able to, why not join in the UK Money Bloggers #FoodbankAdvent campaign. You can find out more about it (HERE) and also find out what the other UK Money Bloggers are doing to support the campaign.
Finally, if you’re struggling to budget this Christmas or if you are worried about your finances or debt, please don’t suffer in silence. You can access FREE, confidential face-to-face money advice at one of 147 Community Money Advice’s Debt Advice Centres throughout the UK. To find your local debt advice centre visit Community Money Advice today: (HERE)