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This year, instead of buying a beauty Christmas calendar, I am making a reverse advent calendar. It really is a simple idea, every day in October/November you add an item in a box. This is so that is ready to give out in December. A reverse advent calendar is easy to make and it is for a great cause. With food bank use having risen sharply over the past few years, it is a sad truth that our food banks are always in need of donated items from members of the public. In the UK, you can not just walk into a food bank and walk out with bags of food: you have to be referred by an approved organisation such as a community mental health team, children’s centre or welfare agency. Food bank users are there because of whatever reason and they do not have enough money to feed themselves or their families.  The donations will be split up and food bank users tend to transport their items in carrier bags. What is in the box is what matters most. You will need the following items to start.

An empty cardboard box.

A typical food parcel will include the following:

  • Breakfast cereal.
  • Packet or tinned soup.
  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Pasta sauce.
  • Baked beans.
  • Tinned meat.
  • Tinned vegetables.
  • Tea or coffee.
  • Tinned fruit.
  • Biscuits.

Non-food items, such as toiletries and feminine products

How do I find my nearest food bank?

If you are in the UK, you can find your nearest Trussell Trust food bank by using this postcode tool. The website will have also have contact details, so you can arrange to drop your box off.  Not all food banks are run by the Trussell Trust. Your local supermarket is likely to have a poster on its noticeboard, with details of the closest one. I am lucky that my mother volunteers in our local food bank so she is taking my box next time she goes in.

This is my reverse calendar. The basket is just to show the food and non food items.

I have enjoyed finding these things for my calendar and aim to do this every year !

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