CHRISTMAS FOODBANK APPEAL: Right on time for the worst of times in life

FOODBANK APPEAL: Irene Davies (left) and volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank in Spalding at the launch of this year's sixth annual Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
FOODBANK APPEAL: Irene Davies (left) and volunteers at Agapecare Foodbank in Spalding at the launch of this year's sixth annual Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal.
  • Invitation to ‘keep Christmas well’ in South Holland and the Deepings

Between April and September 2016, foodbank charity The Trussell Trust estimates that nearly 520,000 emergency food parcels were given out across the UK, including nearly 190,000 to children.

The epidemic of homelessness, poverty, unemployment and family breakdown are unlikely to leave the UK in general, nor South Holland and the Deepings in particular, any time soon.

While this is the case, there will always be a need for foodbanks and the Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal, now in its sixth year.

In spite of more and more charities asking for the help of Guardian readers, this newspaper is inviting you to make room in your Christmas for individuals and families unable to afford theirs.

Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding, said: “There’s been a decrease in donations from the general public so far this year.

“This means that donations from harvest festivals held at schools and churches have been so vital to us.

All the foodbanks are working together over Christmas because, overall, people are still in need and it’s never more apparent than at this time of year

Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank Spalding

“Because there are other charities around now in South Holland and the Deepings, people are donating items of food elsewhere.

“All the foodbanks are working together over Christmas because, overall, people are still in need and it’s never more apparent than at this time of year.

“Whilst people around them are celebrating and buying presents, those in need are having to wonder whether they can get any money to pay the bills.

“But a food parcel from us can make all the difference.”

In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge transformed himself from being an unpopular miser to the most wonderful person on earth.

Dickens wrote: “It was always said of him (Scrooge) that he knew how to keep Christmas well.”

From today, for the next four weeks, the Spalding Guardian is asking readers to “keep Christmas” well by donating mince pies, Christmas cakes and other festive items to foodbanks in Spalding, Long Sutton, Holbeach, Sutton Bridge, Sutterton and Deeping St James.

Donations can be left at churches across South Holland and the Deepings, as well as Sainsbury’s, Holland Market, Spalding; Morrison’s, Wardentree Lane, Pinchbeck; The Reading Rooms, Church Street, Holbeach, or The Market House, Market Street, Long Sutton.

You can also bring them to the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian offices at Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding.

As Dickens wrote: “(Scrooge he knew how to keep Christmas well - may that be truly said of all of us.”