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This year I’m joining in with the #FoodBankAdvent campaign run by the UK Money Bloggers, and would love to invite you to join in too.
The campaign simply involves collecting a box of items to donate to your local food bank. It’s like a reverse advent calendar – instead of opening a little box and receiving something each day – you pop something into your box and end up with a nice parcel to give to your local Food Bank.
You can use the #FoodBankAdvent on Twitter to share your updates/pics etc and to see what others are collecting and get some inspiration. You can read more about the UK Money Blogger’s campaign here.
Example of full box from last year – courtesy of The Complaining Cow
Why Food Banks?
Food poverty is something that is a real struggle for a lot of families. The figures from the Trussell Trust showing how many people need help with emergency food are quite shocking.
This is the number of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust food banks in the financial year 2017-2018.
There is also often a spike of people needing to use food banks in the run up to the festive period. Donating to your local food bank, is a way of giving real help, to real people at a really tough time.
Emergency food packages are needed all year round, so if you can, consider donating at other times too – you don’t even have to drop your donations off, there’s usually a collection basket in the supermarket so you can add something to your weekly shop and just drop it in.
If you’d like to join in with #FoodBankAdvent, and would like your donation to be useful over Christmas itself, then it’s better to collect your items throughout November and donate them at the beginning of December. If you prefer to do it over the actual Advent period, then your donation will still be gratefully received in January.
Some things to think about
How long things will last
Check the dates on what you buy and try to ensure it lasts a long time. Things like tinned foods and other non perishables are a good idea.
What people will need
Think about what people use every day for each meal and try to include useful things. Tea bags, Coffee and biscuits are a good addition. Some families may have small babies, so baby jars and pouches might be useful
It doesn’t have to be just food
You don’t have to limit your collection to just food. Other every day items could be really useful, such as shower gel and shampoo, washing up liquid, toilet paper, toothpaste and other household essentials. You could also consider adding sanitary products – these are an expensive necessity and a horrible thing not to have when you need them.
Check what your local Food Bank needs
Food banks can be overwhelmed with donations of particular things (like mince pies) and be left lacking of others so it’s a great idea to give them a quick call to find out what they’re short of, and what they don’t need.
You can even give for free
One thing to consider is how you can use freebie and cashback apps to collect things to donate and get the money back so it wont even cost you. Supermarket cashback apps like Shopmium and Checkout Smart have a list of products that you can either try for free or buy heavily discounted, so it’s worth checking what’s on there you could pick up with your shopping for free and pop in the food bank collection.