You can be a Christmas lifesaver this year

This year's Christmas Foodbank Appeal is launched at Agapecare Foodbank, The Market House, Long Sutton', with volunteers Father Jonathan Sibley, Keith Davies, Rita Gibbs, Steve Kattner, Jeanne Sibley, Ray Fawcett and Ann McDonald.  Photo by Tim Wilson.
This year's Christmas Foodbank Appeal is launched at Agapecare Foodbank, The Market House, Long Sutton', with volunteers Father Jonathan Sibley, Keith Davies, Rita Gibbs, Steve Kattner, Jeanne Sibley, Ray Fawcett and Ann McDonald. Photo by Tim Wilson.
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A patient with mental health issues found eating dog food to survive, a dad-of-four made redundant with no money for food after paying off the mortgage.

A cancer sufferer too ill to work who is waiting for her state benefits application to be finalised, but with no family members to turn to in the meantime.

Sally-Anne Johannson and Jane Francis prepare Christmas food parcels at Holbeach Community Larder.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Sally-Anne Johannson and Jane Francis prepare Christmas food parcels at Holbeach Community Larder. Photo by Tim Wilson.

And a dementia sufferer whose vulnerability was exploited by fraudsters who cheated her out of her welfare allowance payments.

These are some of the people whose lives have been turned around by your donations to foodbanks across South Holland and the Deepings.

For the fourth year running, the Spalding Guardian is offering our support to this volunteer-run, life-changing service that is lifting individuals and families out of despair and giving them hope for the future.

Donations of food, toiletries, Christmas items, blankets and clothing will go a long way in making this festive season a brighter one for those dreading December 25.

But for this to happen, foodbanks in Spalding, Long Sutton, Deeping St James and Sutterton, as well as Holbeach Community Larder and a new foodbank opening soon in Sutton Bridge, all need your support.

Irene Davies, co-ordinator of Agapecare Foodbank in Spalding, said: “There’s an ongoing need in the area due to budget cuts, high-rent accommodation and debt problems.

“The issues are often complex and it takes a while for people to get out of the situation they are in.

“But with our help, we’ve seen people who have gone on to turn their situations and their lives around.

“These are people who don’t expect to be in the position they are in, but it shows the depth of the need.”

So far in 2014, more than 1,000 food parcels have been given out by foodbanks in Spalding, Long Sutton, Holbeach and the Deepings.
In addition, more than 2,000 meals have been served at drop-in cafes in Spalding and Holbeach alone.
Jane Francis of Holbeach Community Larder said: “Our service provides short-term help for anyone in crisis and clients often come back with a desire to help others.
“The big success story for us, however, is that it has provided jobs for some vulnerable adults who otherwise would find it very difficult to get any employment.”

Foodbank donations can be made at the Lighthouse Church, Haverfield Road, Spalding; The Market House, Market Street, Long Sutton; All Saints Church, Church Street, Holbeach; and The Deepings School, Park Road, Deeping St James.

You can also go to St Mary’s Church, Station Road, Sutterton; Sainsbury’s, Holland Market, Spalding; Morrisons, Wardentree Lane, Pinchbeck, or at our offices in The Crescent, Spalding, between 10am and 2pm, Monday to Friday.