Food Bank Advent – No-One Should Go Hungry At Christmas

Foodbank Advent - make a reverse Advent Calendar for your local food bank

No-one should be hungry at Christmas, or anytime actually. But it is a stark reality for many people. 13 Million people in the UK are now living below the poverty line. People are going hungry every day for a variety of reasons. These range from benefit delays to unexpected bills and a number of other circumstances.

I read a post by fellow blogger Clare at, about the reverse advent calendar. Have you heard about it? I was keen to get involved, and Clare pointed me in the direction of who are using the hashtag #FoodBankAdvent to promote the idea of a reverse advent calendar, in association with the Trussell Trust, who run many food banks across the country.

Volunteer sorting food - picture courtesy of Trussell Trust
Volunteer sorting food – picture courtesy of Trussell Trust

What is a Reverse Advent Calendar?

With an Advent Calendar, you open a window each day from December 1st to Christmas Day and get a reward. It used to be a picture or a chocolate for children. These days there are so many variations, and adults too can indulge themselves with everything from beauty products to beer advent calenders.

In a Reverse Advent Calendar, you make a donation each day. Giving instead of receiving is a good message to teach our children too.  Get an empty box, then put one item for your local food bank into it every day. You could do this for 25 days to mirror the advent calendar – or perhaps for a whole month. It can be the required essentials or some special treats.

Food parcel contents - picture courtesy of the Trussell Trust
Food parcel contents – picture courtesy of the Trussell Trust

Find your local food bank

You can find your local Trussell Trust food bank on this map. There will be a local website with contact details – email address and telephone number – so you can check where to take your box to and when. It also advises what they are particularly short of currently, and will give you a list of what usually goes in a parcel, to give you some ideas.

For my local friends in the North East, here are the links for the Trussell Trust in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Billingham, Durham, Gateshead, Walker, Newcastle East, Newcastle West End. In the Edinburgh and Borders area, the Trussel Trust can be found at Peeblesshire, Midlothian, East Lothian, Edinburgh SE, Edinburgh NE, Edinburgh SW, Edinburgh NW, Edinburgh E.

In between these are many food banks in the County Durham and Northumberland areas run by other organisations. Wherever you are in the UK you should be able to find a food bank nearby. Your local council or Citizens Advice may have details of other food banks in your area. I just used Google.

Donating tins and non-perishable goods to a food bank

It is a sad state of affairs that there have to be so many food banks nowadays, but I am at least thankful that there are such places, and that we are doing our best to take care of each other in times of need.

This year thousands of people applying for Universal Credit for the first time will have to get through the six or more weeks waiting period at the start. Even if they can get an advance payment during this time, it will only be half of what they should have, forcing them to choose between food, heating, paying the rent and getting into debt.

Foodbanks do their best to fill this gap. December is their busiest month of the year, with 45% more referrals during the two weeks before Christmas. More than 90% of the food Trussell Trust distributes comes from donations from the public.

The best time to start

If you want your donation to be used for Christmas, you need to get it to your local food bank in early December. Christmas Eve is too late – especially as it’s a Sunday this year! Getting donations early lets food banks sort the items and get them to where they are most needed.

Collecting through November and delivering the donations in the first week in December, therefore, would be the best timing. If you want to collect during Advent itself, then your donations will be just as welcome in January.

Foodbank Advent - make a reverse Advent Calendar for your local food bank

So, will you join us?

If you do a reverse advent calendar box this year, why not put a photo of it on Facebook to encourage your friends to do the same? Use the hashtag #FoodbankAdvent.

Please also share to our Family Makes Facebook Page, or tag @FamilyMakes on Twitter so we can re-tweet it for you. Let’s spread the word and try to stop hunger together this Christmas.

Please pin to spread the word:

Foodbank Advent - make a reverse Advent Calendar for your local food bank
Please spread the word about the Reverse Advent Calendar

35 Replies to “Food Bank Advent – No-One Should Go Hungry At Christmas”

  1. Oh what a fab idea, I love it! I am going to do this and get the children involved too as I think it would be really good for them. Also, will help them to focus on the real meaning of Christmas!

    1. That’s brilliant Emma x

  2. It’s quite sad that there are so many people living in poverty. This is a beautiful and heart warming form of charity. xxx
    Nafisah recently posted…Different Patterns/forms of Eczema, according to the type (1)My Profile

    1. It is sad, but true.

  3. This is such a great idea and brilliant to get the kids involved in too – they are so used to asking for stuff particularly around Christmas it’ll do them a lot of good to stop and think of others 🙂

    1. That’s exactly right Sarah. We do Christmas shoe boxes for the same reason.

  4. This is such a good idea. I would always donate some food items to the food bank trolley at my local supermarket when we lived in the UK but would put extra in in the run up to Christmas I also donated to a local homeless charity. I must see if there is something here in Portugal as I’m sure there are people in need here too.

    1. That’s a good way of doing it. Hope you find a similar cause to support over there in Portugal.

  5. It’s so sad that in this day and age such a thing is needed. We try and donate to our local food bank every Christmas too.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Spiced Swede (Rutabaga) Cake with Cream Cheese FrostingMy Profile

    1. That’s brilliant.

  6. This is really sad. I will look up our local food bank and try to get involved.

    1. That’s brilliant, I’m sure they will be grateful.

  7. It’s so so sad to read this. I love the idea behind the reverse advent calendar and I think a lot of people these days are able to donate to their food bank a bit more around Christmas, which is just great!

    1. I do too. We don’t have loads, but we have more than some, and are therefor able to share.

  8. This is so important that people should not go without food. The Church we are involved with, we are actively working with some charities this year, to give out food to those who need it.

    Thanks for Sharing

    John M

    1. That’s brilliant news John.

  9. This is a beautiful idea. Something which I think we should all do. I think this year instead of donating some money I’ll get the boys to help with this. It really is the true meaning of Christmas ,giving and thinking of others less fortunate x
    Bless you
    Ger ( It’s Me & Ethan) recently posted…Halloween Scary StoryMy Profile

    1. It certainly is Ger, thanks for your kind words and for considering taking part x

  10. Such a smashing idea. It’s not something I’ve heard much about but I’d love to do something like that this year.
    Sinead ( recently posted…The Ultimate Mama Merch Round-UpMy Profile

    1. Brilliant! I’m sure whatever you do will be appreciated.

  11. Ooh, this is a great idea… I think I’ll get the kids involved to do it. I may change it up a little and get them to choose 7 items to add to our weekly online shop and add to the donation box once a week! 🙂
    Beth @ recently posted…#Blogtober17 – Why I don’t use Twitter as much as I should.My Profile

    1. That’s a great idea Beth!

  12. It makes me so dad that children are still going hungry this Christmas and I will definitely be supporting this campaign this year
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…Best Fun Travel Gifts For Women From @PrezzyBox #TravelTuedayMy Profile

    1. That’s great to hear Zena x

  13. A great idea, Christmas is such a hard tme for some families it’s such a nice gesture if we can take the burden off slightly!

    1. It certainly is, especially the basics like food.

  14. I did this last year. It’s such a good idea. I’ll defo be joining in again
    Kerry Norris recently posted…17 Things To Try When Working Out In WinterMy Profile

    1. Brilliant, I think it’s great to do if you can.

  15. I really like this idea and I think its a great lesson to teach the children as well. I will be finding out where our local one is and doing this – thank you 🙂
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Blogger Club UK #90My Profile

  16. This is such a fab idea! After all, Christmas is about giving more than receiving! I will have to check it out and try to see if we can do it too
    The Frenchie Mummy recently posted…Cuggl Deluxe Superlight Travel Cot ReviewMy Profile

    1. Thanks, hope you can get involved

  17. This is such a lovely idea! I was thinking of doing an activity advent calendar, but I like the idea of including donations to the food bank as part of that. Thanks you for the inspiration – this is lovely! x

    1. You’re welcome,and I’m sure your donations will be too x

  18. This is such a great ide, I have seen so many articles mentioning the reverse calendar.
    Kelly-Anne Combes recently posted…THE BABY FEEDING SERIES WITH SHINNERS AND THE BROODMy Profile

    1. I know, it’s great that so many people are getting behind it. Let’s start a revolution!!

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