With the excitement of Christmas just around the corner, it is hard to imagine many families in the UK will go hungry this Christmas. Whilst we excitingly open our daily chocolate advent there will be mothers worrying that they will not have food for dinner that evening. Have you ever thought about completing a Reverse Advent Calendar for people in need?
This year I have joined the UK Money Bloggers in completing a reverse advent calendar, a #FoodbankAdvent that I will be taking to our local food bank. Do you want to join in? Follow me on Instagram @thesavvysistersmoney
What is a Reverse Advent Calendar?
With a normal advent calendar that you start on the 1st December and count down the days until Christmas. Up until recently, you would normally have a chocolate calendar. This year the range of advent calendars has skyrocketed, you can even get a pork scratching advent calendar!
With a reverse advent calendar, you normally start this in November and count down the month, instead of receiving something each day you purchase something for someone in greater need. It’s such a great educational tool for your children.
Grab a cardboard box and start filling it with an item each day, something that your local food bank can use. Think tins and toiletries. If you are still struggling have a look at my #FoodbankAdvent challenge on Instagram.
What is a food bank?
There are now about 2,000 food banks across the UK, with the Trussell Trust accounting for about 1,200 of them. The number of supplies being distributed has risen by 73% over the past five years.
A foodbank is a place of refuge where you can go and pick up essential items in times of need. A lot of the food is donated by supermarkets, however, there is always more food needed so we must try and do our bit.
Why do so many people need foodbanks?
It is shocking that the number of supplies being handed by foodbanks has increased by 73%, the main reason for this is benefit delays. Where a new council puts a system in place and people literally have no money to buy food for a small period of time.
Who uses food banks?
Researchers from the University of Oxford and King’s College London completed a study and found the most frequent people in need were single men, lone mothers with children and single women.
Where is my local food bank?
Being based in Newmarket, Suffolk your local foodbank is Open Door.
Newmarket Open Door is a charity providing homeless and vulnerable young people with supported housing and training opportunities in Newmarket. As well as our houses, we run two Charity Superstores and Training Centres in Newmarket and Mildenhall to fundraise and the local Foodbank to support the wider community.
What does Newmarket Open Door stock?
The stock is variable depending on donations but can include:
- Tinned soups, meat, fish, beans, fruit and vegetables
- Packet soups, flour, sugar and dried vegetables
- Jars of gherkins, beetroots, olives
- Frozen foods including ready meals
- Fresh fruit, salads and vegetables
- Breakfast cereals
- Biscuits, cereal bars, chocolate, sweets and cakes
- Cooking sauces, tomato sauces, chutney, mayonnaise, salad cream
- Water, lemonade, squash, cola, juices, milk and other soft drinks
- Cat and dog foods, tins, pouches, dried foods and litter
- Soap powder, bleaches, washing up liquid, toilet cleaners, dishwasher tablets and other cleaning products
- Shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, soaps, shaving gels and other personal hygiene products
- Seasonal items such as Easter Eggs and Christmas Puddings
- Fresh bread, cakes, doughnuts, fruit and vegetables
- And much more!
How Do I find my local food bank across the country?
Use the postcode search feature on the Trussel Trust website to find your local food bank.
Are you in?? Will you create your own #FoodbankAdvent?
So I am starting my #FoodbankAdvent today. I have my box and will be adding an item each day for 22 days. You can follow my process on Instagram @thesavvysistersmoney. Make sure you check out #FoodbankAdvent on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what other UK Money Bloggers are donating. It is going to be nice to give back this festive period.