Why Sunderland Foodbank wants you to begin an Advent calendar in reverse

A foodbank is asking its supporters to consider starting an Advent calendar with a difference.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 10:00 am
Sunderland Foodbank's Jo Gordon launches its reverse advent calendar campaign.

Not only do reverse advent calendars mainly cover November, rather than December, but they entail people setting aside a donation each day rather than enjoying a chocolate for 25 days.

The earlier than expected start also gives Sunderland Foodbank extra time to both collect and distribute contributions.

A spokesman for the foodbank, which is based in Coronation Street, in the East End, said: “Like an ordinary advent calendar it runs for the 25 days, but ideally the first 25 days of November.

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“Instead of opening a panel on a calendar and getting a treat the idea is that you put into a box or bag one item of food or monetary donation each day so that there are 25 items in there.

“And that goes to the foodbank to help support local people who are struggling to put food on the table.”

While the foodbank is still happy to accept donations in December, it stresses that all donations with a festive theme need to be handed over by Wednesday, December 4, so staff and volunteers have time to distribute them before Christmas Day.

Items containing alcohol cannot be accepted.

Calendars can be downloaded from the foodbank’s website to inspire donors and the spokesman added: “We would suggest that each family or household or office might like to be responsible for one reverse advent calendar.

“But it could be group within a church, a class in school or an office at a business, or you as an individual.”

The foodbank, part of the nationwide Truseell Trust network of foodbanks, opened in November 2017.

Ten churches and community groups host weekly distribution points across the city and in the 12 months to the end of September it provided three days worth of food for 4,414 adults and 1,760 children.

This equates to nearly 60 tonnes of food worth £87,500.

Donations can also be left at the foodbank’s warehouse at 90 Coronation Street and further information is available by contacting (0191) 5437191 or by logging on to www.sunderland.foodbank.org.uk/