Best Christmas Present Ever - #FoodBankAdvent
The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting darker and we’re rapidly approaching the holiday season. For so many of us this means some indulegnce and parties. It likely also means agonising over what perfect present to hand over to your loved ones, or who even makes the cut for the presents list. This is always lovely and often a big part of the holiday season. However, this year I’m going to ask everyone that can, to do something a little bit different on top of their usual present giving - make a difference to someone you don’t even know.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a request to sponsor me for Dry January, instead, it’s about giving some food to your local foodbank.
With statistics showing that 1 in 3 children in the UK are living in poverty, foodbanks have become a lifeline to many people across the country. According to figures from the Trussell Trust 1,332,9523 of emergency supplies were provided to people in crisis from April 2017 to April 2018. This number is expected to significantly rise in the coming weeks with foodbanks generally witnessing a worrying 45% spike in referrals during the holiday period.
That’s why UK Money Bloggers a group of us who blog about money and personal finance are coming together to once again promote and reverse advent calendar.
What is a #FoodBankAdvent Challenge and a reverse advent calendar?
A reverse advent calendar is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than taking out a treat for each of the days in December leading up to Christmas, you collect a food item a day, put them all together, and create a special parcel which can then be donated to your local foodbank. You can also find out more about reverse advent calandars by reading my guest blog for UK Money Bloggers.
What to do next
If you’re sold on the idea, the next thing to do is to get in touch with your local foodbank. They can give you the important infomation such as which items are most wanted, and information about how to drop off donations. You can find your local Trussell Trust foodbank here along with contact and local website details.
For example, one of my local food banks in Bromley listed the following food items below as
URGENTLY NEEDED FOOD ITEMS
FRUIT JUICE (LONG LIFE)
TINNED MEAT (I.E TINNED MEAT THAT CAN FORM THE BASIS OF A HOT MEAL)
WASHING DETERGENT (TABLETS, POWDER OR LIQUID)
WASHING UP LIQUID
Don’t wait till Christmas eve to drop off
Just like you make sure to (or try but often fail woefully in my case) buy your presents well before the main celebration day, you can start collecting right now. You can then pass the boxes on in early December, giving foodbanks time to sort through the items and get things to where they are needed most.
Let us know how you are getting on
One of the best things about the #FoodBankAdvent challenge is that all of the family can get invovled. Please do feel free to post pictures and updates of your Reverse Advent Calendar journey on social media, and help us to encourage others to get involved by using #FoodBankAdvent when you post.
This challenge is close to my heart as someone that lost a parent growing up and quickly went from an environment of financial stability to that of shock and not knowing where the next meal would come from. My whole family will be taking part, and you can keep an eye on our Twitter feed to see me and the little MoneyNoter on our #FoodBankAdvent challenge.
It’s true that we need much more than reverse advent calendars to really tackle issues around poverty, deprivation and inequality. However those of us who are able, can try to make a difference where we are able, even if that is just one box at a time.