This is a slightly different post for me. I’m not normally one to stand on my soapbox spouting off at people about all the injustices in the world (not anymore anyway – I leave that for people far more eloquent than me). This space of mine is where I ramble about the things I love, and whatever pops into my head in general, and I press ‘publish’ hoping that maybe a few people will read the post.
But today’s topic is something that is very important to me and needs to be spoken about. I’m talking about Food Banks and I’m going to start by giving you a few, sobering, statistics:
In 2013-2014 the number of three-day emergency food supplies handed out in the UK was 913,138.
In the period of 2017 – 2018 this number had increased to 1,332,952.
484,026 of those parcels were given to children.
The area I live in – East Anglia – had the fourth highest amount of food parcels given out (129,261 in 2017 -2018).
In 2012 – 2013 that amount was 34,166. It’s shocking to think that in the space of 5 years that figure has increased by almost 100,00.
While these figures are terrifying what shocked me more was that there is a 45% spike in food parcel referrals in the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The time of year when, supposedly, we should be celebrating and enjoying seasonal feasts with our loved ones is also a time of deep worry and despair for so many.
Over the past few years, the Trussell Trust has been promoting the #ReverseAdventCalendar where rather than you opening up a calendar every day in December, you put an item in a box to donate to your local food bank instead.
These Reverse Advent boxes go a little beyond the usual when it comes to items that the food bank normally ask for as in addition to essential foodstuffs you also include a few festive themed treats too. They suggest that the reverse advent is done in November so that they can give the parcels out to those who need them during December.
My local food bank (Cromer & District) have suggested the following items for reverse advent parcels:
Obviously, your local food bank may have a totally different list of suggested items for their #ReverseAdventCalendar so I highly recommend heading to the Trussell Trust website to find the details of your local food bank.
Of course, while the #ReverseAdventCalendar is a great idea it might not be something that everyone can commit to. But, if you can help out in any way, even if it’s by popping an item or two in the Food Bank box the next time you are at the supermarket, it can make all the difference to someone who truly needs it.
To find out more about #ReverseAdventCalendar, your local food bank, and what you can do to help then head over to the Trussell Trust website for more information.