Beds, Herts & Bucks

Bedford foodbank promotes 'reverse advent calendar' for January

Volunteers at Bedford Foodbank Image copyright Bedford Foodbank
Image caption Volunteers have been busy sorting out food parcels for Bedford Foodbank

A "reverse advent calendar" has been set up by a food bank to help families who need items after Christmas Day.

The Bedford Foodbank is asking for donations such as tinned fruit, saucepans and tea bags in the New Year.

Sarah Broughton, project manager, said January could be a "bleak month" as many people had spent their money.

It has a list of 24 most-needed items and asked for donations to start in January, rather than on 1 December.

"People are so generous up to Christmas, but donations drop off into the New Year, which is understandable," she said.

"Everyone needs to tighten their belts in January and they also spend more on heating and lighting."

Image copyright Bedford Foodbank
Image caption The Bedford Foodbank is currently "bursting at the seams"

Wendie Harvey, the chief executive of Bedford-based charity Family and Children's Early-help Services (Faces), said: "People just don't realise how hard January is as most families have spent the money they have making sure the children have something."

Mr Broughton said their warehouse was "bursting at the seams" before Christmas, but things were expected to change, as people with "very strict budgets" would still need their help afterwards.

She said a man called to make a donation and she asked him to delay it by a few weeks and he told her that was a "brilliant idea".

The charity said it feeds about 650 people a month, and handed out 3,500 food parcels in the last 12 months.

Donations can be taken to its warehouse on Murdock Road on 2, 3, 6 and 10 January.

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