Foodbank Advent


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

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



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