As adverts on the TV gently remind us of Christmas some of us might give some thought to what we have planned for advent, but certainly by the time Christmas music is played in shops and restaurants most us know what our plans for the Christmas season will be.
A lot of these plans will revolve around food, right from advent calendars to supermarket turkey sandwiches. What we eat plays a big part in the celebrations. For those among us who rely on foodbanks, this can be extremely isolating. They cannot plan their meals effectively, or fantasise about a huge meal on December 25th. Many children will not get a small chocolate every day in December. Food poverty is an issue all year round, but at a time when children are not at school is particularly challenging to provide that extra meal.
This year many people are doing a reverse advent calendar or ‘Foodbank advent’. We are suggesting that as well as enjoying the traditional countdown to Christmas, we make room in our celebrations for giving. Beginning on 27th November, we will suggest one item a day, for 25 days, ending on 21st December. Then, before Christmas, donate the 25 items you have collected to your local foodbank. The reason it starts earlier is to allow time for the food to be dropped off at your local foodbank in time for Christmas.
The items will be things that foodbanks have need of, but feel free to substitute if you know of a particular need for something different. We also suggest dropping off some actual advent calendars off at your local foodbank before the start of December, to allow children (and adults!) to be part of the joy of preparing for Christmas.
We understand that dropping off large packages in London is tricky, so if you are struggling, but want to donate please let us know by emailing email@example.com
To find your local foodbank, ask your parish priest or put your postcode into our social action map
Full list of suggestions:
Day 1 Seasonal chocolate or chocolate bars
Day 2 Tin of fruit
Day 3 A packet of rice(500g)
Day 4 Shampoo/conditioner
Day 5 Milk (UHT, Soya, Rice)
Day 6 A jar of pasta sauce
Day 7 A bottle of washing up liquid
Day 8 A jar of instant coffee
Day 9 A bag of sugar
Day 10 a bottle of shower gel
Day 11A tin of fish
Day 12 A tin of meat
Day 13 A jar of peanut butter
Day 14 A can of deodorant
Day 15 A packet of biscuits
Day 16 A tin of soup
Day 17 A carton of long-life fruit juice
Day 18 A tin of vegetables
Day 19 A packet of nappies
Day 20 A tinned pudding e.g. Rice Pudding, Sponge Pudding, Custard
Day 21 A box of washing powder
Day 22 A jar of curry sauce
Day 23 Shaving foam
Day 24 A packet of disposable shaving razors
Day 25 A bottle of cooking oil