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To tell you about a nice idea that’s easy to do? (Food bank related)

102 replies

autumnnightsaredrawingin · 22/11/2019 21:59

For those of you who donate to food banks. I was talking to someone today who said that if anyone is donating now, a really lovely thing to do is to include a couple of chocolate advent calendars.

It means they can include them in boxes for families with young children who would otherwise have no calendar. I realise they’re not too environmentally friendly with the plastic, but I think the idea of giving some kids who have a pretty tough time a little bit of happiness is a good thing.

So, not really an AIBU but something to consider if you are about to donate to a food bank. Similarly, a nice tin of Christmas biscuits or chocolates will also be welcome.

OP posts:
Boulshired · 23/11/2019 00:09

It is also worth reminding that boxes of chocolates/ biscuits/ cakes can be distributed for the family whereas advent calendars and selection boxes are more for individual children. Many of the families we help have more than one child so it’s actually better to have the more generic (cheaper) ones as more of these are given and then the children get the same. Especially as we know many of the selection boxes will be wrapped up as Christmas presents so different sizes and cost can be problematic.

BillHadersNewWife · 23/11/2019 00:25

Great idea...I'm in Oz but all the kids here have advent calendars too. I'm going to try you think a few boxes of Christmas crackers is silly? It's not food is it...but it's the kind of thing that adds a bit of extra something to a child's day.

BillHadersNewWife · 23/11/2019 00:26

Boul so it's better to buy more of one type? So they can add say 4 selection boxes to the parcel of a family with 4 kids? All the same.

MagentaRocks · 23/11/2019 00:32

I always get some small chocolate treats for the food bank at Christmas. Little Santa's etc as well as the basic stuff.

HeIenaDove · 23/11/2019 00:33

I did that the year before last. Sainsburys had the selection boxes on offer so i bought 3 and put them in the donation box.

Black Friday offers are starting or have started in some cases so i shall keep a look out.

MsMellivora · 23/11/2019 00:41

My church was giving out food on a regular basis in 1979, I can remember helping as a small child. Food banks and projects have been around for ever really but there are more, people are more aware of them and poverty is less hidden as well as rising.

childrenandhomeless · 23/11/2019 00:52

I know its not food, but thick warm jumpers for winter!

Refuge get lots of clothes donations too but kids need to be warm and dry (and their mums too).

One foodbank I used had fresh veg too as living on tins and pasta soon means you lose vitamins. That was from shops I believe

Italiangreyhound · 23/11/2019 00:54

Great idea.

soulrunner · 23/11/2019 00:55

Does anyone else feel deeply uncomfortable with the whole notion of food banks in a well off 1st world country?

Yes, but they're a feature of pretty much every well off developed country unfortunately. As part of my job I work with a number of the "business to business" non profits in this sector (charities that accept bulk donations from the food supply chain and distribute to food banks to reduce food waste). We work in 20+ countries and I dont think there are any that dont have food banks. They are definitely not UK specific.

Italiangreyhound · 23/11/2019 00:59

I do feel deeply sad we live in a society where they have become 'a necessity' for some families. However, at least the organised manner etc means that people are getting help. but yes, i feel uncomfortable. I also feel sad for people getting a shoe box of things at Christmas when we get so much. but I still think it is a worthwhile thing to do.

childrenandhomeless · 23/11/2019 01:05

Wegot some really quality items from some stores but there are a lot of beans and cheap tins, and out of date too

It all keeps those in need alive though.

RonaldMcDonald · 23/11/2019 01:20

We bought ( work donation in lieu of Christmas naff afternoon party held in the office)
10 huge bars of Dairy Milk and 10 of Galaxy
Boxes of Christmas Maltesers
Chocolate fingers
Flat of Jam and one of Marmalade
Box of Chocolate Spread ( not Nutella)
Hot chocolate Cadbury’s - that can be made with water
Mini marshmallows

Our admin thought it all up. Not healthy at all but not miserable either.

kateandme · 23/11/2019 01:32
Mummyoflittledragon · 23/11/2019 01:54

Can I just add you can give a little extra to charity simply by buying your normal groceries at Tesco or clothes at Next etc by going through charity websites eg Trussell Trust. Like this.

sandgrown · 23/11/2019 08:05

I am feeling a bit guilty now. The Trussell Trust were collecting in Tesco yesterday . I gave a bag of stuff from their list like tuna , tea bags and pasta sauces but it stated Christmas fare so I included a tub of chocolates. It never occurred to me they might be inundated and I should perhaps have bought something more practical.

TheOrigFV45 · 23/11/2019 10:31

sandgrown No need to feel guilty. All those things will get used. They'll be stored in a warehouse and boxed up as normal.

Undercoverworker06 · 23/11/2019 10:55

When I do my big shop each week, I pick 3 things each time for the food bank, and have explained to my grandson that we should get " the 3 N's", something Needed, something New, something Nice. So tinned veg, fruit, fish etc for needed; washing powder, gravy granules, loo rolls for something new if we've not done that for a while; and chocolate, biscuits, crisps, nice puddings etc for the nice. My grandson gets to pick the nice item, it's so important to me that he realizes that not every child is as lucky as him.
He's only 6 and obviously he'd like the chocolate, the biscuits etc for himself but he's aware that it is nice to share and help others. He's been doing that since he was very young and I'm very proud of him.

YeOldeTrout · 23/11/2019 11:06

I'll donate £100. They need money for running costs & they can choose how to best spend that.

AuntieStella · 23/11/2019 11:09

The thing you need to,check for festive items is when the last dayt o donate is.

If you want it to be in recipients hands in the last few days of November, ready to start opening on 1/12, then it really needed to have been dropped off this week just finished. Don't do it later than Monday.

Ditto Christmas treat food or Easter Eggs. At least a fortnight in advance really, really helpful

InfiniteSheldon · 23/11/2019 11:13

This is giving to make yourself feel good please ask your food bank what they actually want it's probably tinned meat and soups. At this time of year people spend £s on themselves and give crap to the food banks to make themselves feel better. Please give generously not selfishly.

Sirzy · 23/11/2019 11:16

Also if you are taking part in a present collection then consider older children. Most people tend to go for the cute toys for the younger children but forget how hard it can be for teens

Sirzy · 23/11/2019 11:18

I do think it would help if there was a way foodbanks could work with supermarkets so needed items at the time where highlighted as you go around. A good way to jog the memory of shoppers who can get a few bits to do so and make sure that what is needed is provided.


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Lunafortheloveogod · 23/11/2019 11:29

Another thing is dairy free chocolate selection boxes or advent calendars. CMPA is more common now and there’s nothing worse than being the one kid who didn’t get in a family.

I tend to Chuck in odd essentials, soy/oat milk, dairy free things, gluten free things vs regular things as I know most people who donate stuff will go for uht milk and regular biscuits over the alternatives.

Callthemidwifeplease · 23/11/2019 11:34

Thank you for reminding me to donate this weekend...have been meaning to for weeks.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe2726 · 23/11/2019 11:41

I agree with giving money to the FOOD BANK; they can buy in what they need and prop up their store with items that are slow to come in. It's still gives a nice warm feeling to know that you're helped, without handing over a stack of advent calendars that have limited application.

It was only when I read the other thread about the sheer drudgery of life on the streets (which many are) that made me a bit ashamed about congratulating myself (sounds harsh, sorry) about handing over fripperies like advent calendars.

Foodstuffs go off/taste less good after their prime - MONEY stays good forever... Trussel/FareShare etc. can buy advent calendars as needed, for far cheaper than we can.

Is this food bank issue ever going to be on the government's agenda to put right? I'm so sick of listening to vacuous, self-serving politicians who haven't a clue about what's important. Angry

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