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GENEROUS readers from across South Holland have made Christmas a time to remember for almost 300 people.

Little more than a month ago we asked you to dig deep and donate items for as many festive food hampers as possible for those who have been facing tough times – and you didn’t let us down.

Thanks to your generosity in a joint campaign between Spalding’s Agape Care Foodbank and the Spalding Guardian, we smashed original hopes of providing 50 special hampers to deliver a total of 102.

It meant 145 adults and 152 children were given everything they needed to enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

The hundreds of donations which poured in throughout December meant every single person and family nominated by the foodbank’s partner agencies received a hamper.

Agape Care project manager Paul Walker said: “Everyone has been brilliant. They just wanted to make a difference to someone at Christmas by doing this act of kindness.

“It’s been incredible. All the volunteers have said they have enjoyed it and would love to do it again.

“It’s been an emotional journey but worthwhile.”

Throughout Thursday and Friday last week, cars and vans were loaded up ready for the foodbank’s volunteers to make their special deliveries across South Holland.

Mr Walker said some families cried with joy when their hamper was delivered, while others said the volunteers had made their Christmas.

One family had spent the run up to Christmas travelling to and from hospital in Nottingham, where their daughter had been recovering from an operation.

They said: “We had thought about presents but not food or anything else. We were just going to get something closer to the time as we had been thinking about our daughter.

“We just want to say thank you. The foodbank really are lifesavers. They have made our Christmas.”

Another South Holland family, who were nominated because they have had a difficult year, said their hamper was simply “amazing”.

“We can only say thank you for everything,” they said.

Mr Walker praised the number of donated items in what has been a tough economic climate for everyone.

“It’s down to the people of Spalding and South Holland who have embraced this campaign to help out people in their community,” he said.

“We want to thank the businesses who have come forward to help without wanting any publicity and to Sainsbury’s in Spalding.

“We also want to thank the staff at the Spalding Guardian for their work behind the scenes.”

Agape Care Foodbank will now continue its usual service, providing three-day emergency food parcels to those in need.

Donations should be taken to the Lighthouse Church in Haverfield Road, Spalding.