It’s a sad day.
We live in one of the richest countries in the world and yet the need for food banks is growing rapidly year on year.
With people running out of money to eat food – a simple and basic human necessity – they are turning to food banks as a way to help out and ultimately survive.
And, these food banks are funded by all of us, not through government funding, but from you, me, your neighbour and countless volunteers who work at the food banks for support people who are hungry.
So, thank you!
But that’s not the point of this…
What do you give to a food bank?
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Around Christmas time, there is a lot more talk over food banks.
With an abundance of Christmas spirit, and being the season of giving, people seem happier to donate more so others won’t be in need.
Remember though – people are hungry all year, not just at Christmas
There is usually a collection box at the checkouts of most supermarkets.
You can pick up a pack of noodles, a box of cup-a-soup or some toothbrushes to add to the collection and add your donation when you’ve paid at the checkout.
But, you need to remember to pick something up, or not forget to write it on your shopping list before you head to the store.
To help us not forget, a new campaign has been started to support those in need.
Help Brighten a Million Christmases
Sainsbury’s and Argos have launched ‘Help to Brighten a Million Christmases’.
Their campaign wants to encourage people to give one million food and toy donations in stores which will go on to people who really need them.
While Sainsbury’s has food banks in their stores all year round, this scheme will see food and toys distributed to local communities in time for Christmas.
The campaign was kicked off by a group of students from the National Citizen Service (NCS).
They invented new on-shelf labels so people can see what high-priority items need to be donated.
This rolled out in one store, in Exeter, at first, but is now going nationwide as the trial saw donations to food banks triple!
As part of the Christmas donations, shelf edge labels will be in store until 16th December for food in Sainsbury’s and toys in Argos.
However, Sainsbury’s is looking for them to become permanent after this time.
Priority food products to donate
Sainsbury’s is suggesting the following foods are donated:
- Tinned meat
- Tinned fish
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
- Tinned soup
- Tinned baked beans
- Pasta Sauces
- Cooking oil
- Jams, spreads, preserves
- Instant coffee
- Milk (UHT or powdered)
- Fruit juice (long life)
However, please do check with your local food bank to see what they need.
Your own local food bank may already be inundated with pasta and tea, so just have a quick check by calling them or checking on their social media channels.
Give, if you can
Now I’m not saying you need to give, so please don’t feel bad if you can’t.
Yes, I know there should be more done at a higher level to help people in our communities who are falling through the system.
But, in the meantime, it seems that being a good neighbour and just trying to help out those around us is a way to get together as a nation and support each other.
And it’s horrible to think, but while today you may be comfortable and have enough food to see you through, you never know what tomorrow will bring.