More than 100 families in South Holland alone will see their Christmas transformed for the better after an overwhelming response to this year’s Christmas Appeal.
Foodbanks in Spalding, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Sutterton, Deeping St James and Sutton Bridge have seen goodwill on an unprecedented scale as individuals, families, schools, churches and businesses have supported their communities.
But it’s not only been demonstrated by donations of food, toiletries, clothing and Christmas items as people have also given their time and energy to prepare food parcels and deliver them to those in crisis at the worst possible time of the year.
Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank in Spalding, said: “It’s been an incredible Christmas with so many people wanting to give us their support in various ways, large or small.
“We have sent out over 70 parcels this year, 20 more than in previous years, all because of the wonderful generosity of the Spalding community which includes churches, businesses, schools, families and individuals.
“People have also been so generous with their time in helping to pack and deliver the parcels.
“Never have we had so much hands-on help and very large food or financial donations as this year.
“But we’ve also had individuals such as one elderly lady who came in wanting to buy a present for a child after remembering her own childhood days and a young girl who, with her friends, decided to make cakes and fundraise for us this year.”
It’s been a similar story at Holbeach Community Larder where about 40 food parcels have been delivered to people nominated by organisations, including Home-Start South Holland, district councillors, doctor’s surgeries and schools.
Rev Rosamund Seal, vicar of Holbeach, said: “Many of the parcels were packed by a team from University Academy Holbeach and most of the items were donated by the very generous customers of Tesco.
“We have given a three-course Christmas dinner to at least 50 people, including one gentleman who hadn’t eaten a hot meal for ten days and that was while in hospital.
“We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and willingness to help, as a result of which we’ve been able to offer significant help to people in real crisis.”
Youngsters from Weston Hills Primary School have been among the volunteers preparing food parcels in Spalding.
Headteacher Jane Fitzgerald said: ““Visiting the food bank was a real eye-opener for the children and they were surprised by just how many parcels there were to go out to families.”