Bring some festive cheer

Irene Davies, team leader for Agape Care Foodbank, with Kevin Merritt, Jenny Tedbury and Pastor Chas Sandhu at a partners' lunch in Spalding.

Irene Davies, team leader for Agape Care Foodbank, with Kevin Merritt, Jenny Tedbury and Pastor Chas Sandhu at a partners' lunch in Spalding.

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South Holland residents can once again bring some Christmas cheer to local people in crisis by donating to a foodbank that helps those in need.

Volunteers at Agape Care Foodbank in Spalding are preparing to help hundreds of homeless, unemployed and struggling individuals and families who find themselves in trouble financially at Christmas time.

The foodbank, based at The Lighthouse Church in Haverfield Road, provided food parcels and Christmas hampers to about 100 families in 2011 and volunteers are counting on the public’s help again this year.

But as well as giving out food, the foodbank also hopes to put a smile on needy people’s faces with a surprise Christmas extra in the form of soft toys for children and toiletries for adults.

Irene Davies, the foodbank’s team leader, said: “Our aim for this year’s appeal is to give people who can’t afford to buy niceties for themselves and their children this Christmas something a little bit extra in their food parcels.

“We want the people of South Holland to donate things they would like to see on their own Christmas tables like Christmas crackers, gloves and soft toys that we can give to children as a surprise.

“For adults, we’re looking for tins of ham, salmon, nuts, biscuits and toiletries so we can put things in the food parcels that are a little different.

“We’re putting together a list of things and that will be available in the next few weeks for people to look at and think about donating.”

The Spalding Guardian teamed up with the foodbank last Christmas to make people aware of the short-term, emergency food aid it provides to individuals, couples and families in crisis throughout the area.

About 330 food parcels have been given out to people in South Holland since the foodbank opened in April 2011 and a second centre was set up at The Market House in Long Sutton to cope with demand from families in the area.

Irene said: “The foodbank was started because we felt there was a need to help people on low incomes who find themselves with no money left to buy food for themselves and their children.

“We have about 40 referral partners from various agencies such as the probation service and carers’ organisations who know those in need of help so that food gets to the people who need it.

“The foodbank is regarded as something that’s quite important and it’s profile has been greatly raised in the community.”