Some festive cheer for struggling families in Morecambe Bay

Photo Neil Cross
Annette Smith and Roger Gittings of Morecambe Bay Foodbank and Torrisholme school pupils doing a reverse advent calendar for Christmas.
Photo Neil Cross Annette Smith and Roger Gittings of Morecambe Bay Foodbank and Torrisholme school pupils doing a reverse advent calendar for Christmas.
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Morecambe Bay Foodbank is organising a “reverse advent calendar” to help families struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.

The charity, based in Green Street, helps people in crisis who would otherwise go hungry.

Photo Neil Cross
Annette Smith and Roger Gittings of Morecambe Bay Foodbank and Torrisholme school pupils doing a reverse advent calendar for Christmas.

Photo Neil Cross Annette Smith and Roger Gittings of Morecambe Bay Foodbank and Torrisholme school pupils doing a reverse advent calendar for Christmas.

The foodbank has seen another sharp increase in people in need this year, with usage levels at an all time high across the country.

Annette Smith, Morecambe Bay Foodbank project manager, said: “As you start to think about your Christmas shopping this year, please spare a thought for those less fortunate.

“This Christmas local families will go hungry because they cannot afford food.

“Our reverse advent calendar is a great way to give something to help others over the festive season by putting together a Christmas box.”

For one month until December 15, the charity is asking residents to put a single item of food into a box each day.

At the end of the month the box of items can be taken to any of the food bank’s collection points, where they will pick it up and use the items to create Christmas parcels for delivery amongst individuals and families in need.

Suggested items to put in your box include: tinned ham, tinned fruit, tinned potatoes, fruit juice, tinned vegetables, stuffing, gravy, instant mash, custard, crisps, tuna, cheese biscuits, mayonnaise, jam, chocolates, mince pies, soft drinks/cordials, part-baked bread rolls, Christmas pudding and Christmas crackers.

The charity is also running a selection box collection.

Last year, it managed to collect 250 selection boxes for children in the Morecambe Bay area.

Food boxes can be dropped off at Sainsbury’s in Morecambe or Lancaster, Asda, Morecambe Methodist Church, Poulton Children’s Centre, or Cornerstone Cafe, in Dalton Square, Lancaster.

750 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis by Morecambe Bay Foodbank in the first half of 2016 – over 380 went to children.

The Trussell Trust, which runs the foodbank, is calling for a telephone ‘hotline’ to local job centres to support people in crisis more quickly and efficiently, reducing negative impact on mental well-being.

The top three reasons for foodbank referral were: benefit delay 46 per cent, benefit change 16.5 per cent, low income 26.4 per cent.

Annette Smith said: “It really is only with the community’s support that we’re able to provide vital emergency help when it most matters, and we’re constantly surprised and overwhelmed by local people’s generosity.”