As soon as the Halloween decorations go back up to the loft in our house, I know that I can start thinking about Christmas soon. Don’t shout me down just yet – each to their own! I am just a huge Christmas-time lover; I love the build-up and the magic of the festive season….
This year as every year, we will be incorporating a family charitable tradition in among the other traditions. My children are extremely fortunate to live the lifestyle we lead and it’s important to us that they understand that other families don’t have what we have and that they shouldn’t take their belongings and lifestyle for granted.
I’m so happy to be working alongside the whole UK Money Bloggers community to encourage our collective readers to put together a parcel to donate to their local food bank for Christmas parcels.
Our #FoodBankAdvent campaign is based on the concept of a reverse advent calendar.
With a normal advent calendar, on each day of advent, you open a window and get something out. The idea of a reverse advent calendar is simple – it’s the opposite to a traditional advent calendar in that you don’t take, you give.
Find yourself a big box and for 25 days, pop one item a day in to it and at the end, deliver it to your local food bank.
It is an easy and fun way to collect items for your food bank, especially for those of you with children. I have been talking to the girls about it and they have come up with some lovely ideas of Christmas cards to make to go in there alongside the donations of food and toiletries.
In order to get your valuable donations out to those who need them, the food banks need to have them in plenty of time before Christmas.
Our local foodbank is asking for all donations in by 7th December to give them time to distribute for Christmas.
In our home, decoration of the Christmas box has already started.
For us as a family, I know participating in this campaign makes the girls appreciate their small gifts and chocolate in their advent calendars more by talking about why we have food banks in the month before.
I delivered the parcel we put together myself last year but would like to take them with me this year. I cried when I was shown the bags which were specifically designated for children. It breaks my heart that any child is reliant on foodbank donations to eat. No matter the time of year, this is a desperate situation, but especially at Christmas time.
If you want to start this challenge well into November or even December, the food banks will still need those donations in January. But I would love it if you joined me with this – head over to my Instagram to see how we are getting on with our donations and for Instastories on the delivery.
What to put in a food bank parcel
Food banks provide a minimum of three-days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods. Here are some ideas of things to go in to your donation:
- Pasta sauce
- Tinned meat
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
Non-food items are also welcomed:
- Toiletries – deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes
- Household items – laundry liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid
- Feminine products – sanitary towels and tampons
- Baby supplies – nappies, baby wipes and baby food. (Please note, most foodbanks will not accept formula milk.)
Your local food bank
If you don’t know where your local food bank is, you will find a collection box in most of your local supermarkets with details of your nearest one. They will usually also indicate what your local one is short of at the moment – this is the sign up on the collection box at our local Tesco.
PLEASE donate your #FoodbankAdvent box directly to your local food bank though rather than to one of these boxes.
It doesn’t matter if your donation is 25 of the same thing – one for each day of the reverse advent – especially if it is something which they really need at the moment. They will be divided up in to individual parcels for distribution.
I’d love to see my readers involved in this great campaign. If you post any photos on social media, use the hashtag #FoodBankAdvent to join with us in making this Christmas a little more bearable for those who really need our help. Thank you!!