Turn the tide of misery in South Holland and the Deepings this Christmas

Volunteers from Agapecare Foodbank, based at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding, launch this year's Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
Volunteers from Agapecare Foodbank, based at The Lighthouse Church, Spalding, launch this year's Spalding Guardian Christmas Foodbank Appeal. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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Personal debt, benefit delays, homelessness and family breakdown are all likely to make this Christmas a nightmare for families in South Holland and the Deepings.

But you can help change that by supporting the Spalding Guardian’s fifth annual Christmas Foodbank Appeal, in partnership with foodbanks in Deeping St James, Holbeach, Long Sutton, Spalding, Sutterton and Sutton Bridge.

If we can make a difference by giving people just one item, putting that together with another person’s item, then somebody’s Christmas could be made a lot better

Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank, Spalding

Every week, for the next six weeks, the Guardian will be asking you can to donate food, clothing and Christmas items, including mince pies and cake, to your nearest foodbank.

Irene Davies of Agapecare Foodbank, Spalding, said: “We gave out 50 per cent more parcels last years than previously and because donations were down throughout this year, we had to buy in double the amount we would normally.

“Throughout the summer, we had a rise in the number of people sleeping on the streets and there’s been a 117 per cent rise in the number of clients in debt, unemployment or facing benefit delays.

“If we can make a difference by giving people just one item, putting that together with another person’s item, then somebody’s Christmas could be made a lot better.”

Volunteers at foodbanks in the Spalding Guardian area give out food parcels containing enough supplies to last an individual or family for three days.

Clients are put in touch with foodbanks by a number of groups, known as referral partners, including JobCentre Plus, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, schools, nurseries and medical centres.

Foodbank co-ordinator Irene Davies said: “To protect both the security and integrity aspects of our service, we keep a record of clients and how many food parcels they’ve had.

“But we’re now in need of provisions for Christmas.”

Lonely, vulnerable and desperate people who are struggling to make ends meet can be found in towns and villages throughout south Lincolnshire.

As a result, foodbanks have been set up across South Holland, South Kesteven and Boston district or borough council areas to meet the need of human suffering.

Christmas time is when it is at its most acute and Jeanne Sibley of The Market House, Long Sutton, said: “We are supplying regular amounts of food to those in need and also work with the ministry team at St Mary’s Church where community lunches are held once a month.

“We also get many medical referrals for food parcels and this is an essential community service for Long Sutton and the surrounding area.

“This is why we are collecting the names of those people who will have their Christmases made by receiving festive food parcels.”

You can donate items at Agapecare Foodbank, The Lighthouse Church, Spalding; The Market House, Long Sutton; St Matthew’s Church, Sutton Bridge; St Mary’s Church, Sutterton; Priory Church, Deeping St James; Sainsbury’s, Spalding and Morrison’s, Pinchbeck.