It’s almost December which means Christmas is nearly upon us! (Sorry for those that don’t like any mention of Christmas in November!). I was browsing online earlier last week, when something caught my attention, a reverse advent calendar? Having never heard of this before I decided to do my research and once I had, I started immediately. Started by UK Money Bloggers the #FoodbankAdvent aims to make Christmas a little better for those in need. So let’s get down to the basics:
What is Reverse Advent Calendar?
A lot of you may already be aware of UK Money Bloggers #FoodbankAdvent Campaign, but for those of you who haven’t let me explain. A reverse advent calendar is a donation of an item by you into an empty box, everyday up until Christmas (or longer if you wish!), to eventually be donated to your local food bank to help those less fortunate over Christmas. However, it is recommended that you get your donations in as early as possible, the first week of December if you want them to be used in time for Christmas! We have already started filling our box for our food bank (West Cheshire), as after some research I found that the two weeks before Christmas are the busiest times for food bank referrals.
Regardless of it being Christmas, no one should ever have to go hungry or without the essential basics to survive. I am a firm believer that this can be anyone, at any point, whether its job loss or being too sick to work, family trouble, missed payments, and I know we would all hope someone would be willing to help us if we were in that position. Food Banks are in desperate need, with the Trussell Trust stating that the statistics in their mid-year report showed that food banks in areas with a full roll-out over six months or more have seen a 30% increase.
What Can You Put in Your Reverse Advent Calendar?
Food that is non-perishable with long sell by dates, ensure all food is well within date before it is donated (did anyone hear about the 70+ year old soup donated that made it into the news?!). Certain charities may ask for certain things, but if you search your local food bank they usually provide a ‘shopping list’ of items they require, items they are well stocked up on and items they desperately need. Not always on the shopping list, but definite essentials, are sanitary products, baby wipes/nappies, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washing tablets/liquid.
Here is the West Cheshire Shopping List:
- TINNED MEAT / FISH
- TINNED VEGETABLES
- TINNED POTATOES
- TINNED TOMATOES
- CUPPA SOUPS
- POT NOODLES
- INSTANT PASTA
- TINNED SOUP
- PASTA SAUCE
- INSTANT MASHED POTATO
- TINNED / INSTANT CUSTARD
- TINNED FRUIT
- JAMS AND SPREADS
- UHT MILK
- UHT FRUIT JUICE
- INSTANT COFFEE
If you’re still unsure about what to donate or want specifics, you can contact your local food bank who can inform you what they need.
Are you ready?
If you’re taking part in making your own reverse advent calendar this year, you will be reminding someone that they have not been forgotten, that people care. Your advent calendar does not have to be expensive, add a couple of items onto your weekly shop, use coupons, 3 for 2 offers, well in date never opened things you have never used in your cupboard, or even club together with a friend and both put into it. Do not forget as well as the essentials, it is Christmas, so you can add some treats to your calendar with tinned pies, non-alcoholic Christmas Puddings, chocolates, biscuits, and toys. Do something really great, and help someone this Christmas, you never know when you might find yourself needing that help too.
If you cannot get to your local foodbank but would still like to participate, look for local drop off points where your donations will be collected. You can find Chester’s here:
For more info: https://ukmoneybloggers.com/hungry-xmas-foodbankadvent/
Are you making a reverse advent calendar this Christmas? Any tips on what else to add to our donation? Let me know!