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People urged to help food banks by donating reverse advent calendar

Food banks need help from their local communities more than ever in the run-up to Christmas.

And that’s exactly why the reverse advent calendar campaign has been relaunched this year.

That’s right – a reverse advent calendar.

WHITBURN, SCOTLAND - MARCH 07: A Stuart Little volunteer packs food into a box at a food bank on March 7, 2014 in Whitburn, Scotland. Charities based in Scotland are reporting that many families are living in poverty having to turn to food banks, and are struggling to heat their homes and clothe their children and themselves. The Trussell trust runs a network of foodbanks throughout the UK, giving emergency food to people in crisis. In the past year demand has risen in Scotland and the rest of the UK. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Food banks are particularly stretched before Christmas (Picture: Getty)

Instead of eating a piece of chocolate every day in December, the reverse advent calendar involves collecting an item of food once a day for 25 days and building a parcel fit for donation.

People looking to take part this year have been urged to start as soon as possible, so food banks receive the donation when it is most needed.

The campaign has been started by UK Money Bloggers, which said: ‘There are a fair few festive movies that show our heroes dropping off packages for people in need on Christmas Eve, and while this is always lovely on screen, it’s not exactly reality.

‘If you want your donation to be used in time for Christmas, make sure you start collecting in November, and get it across to your local food bank in early December.

CAMBORNE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 25: Liam Jervis, 21, who has been living in his car as he cannot afford local rents from the wages he earns from his low paid job, uses the foodbank run by the charity Transformation CPR being run at the Camborne Centenary Methodist Church in Camborne on July 25, 2017 in Cornwall, England. Transformation CPR is run by local churches and oversees and develops social care projects in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth area in partnership with other agencies. The foobank is currently providing between 8000 and 10,000 meals every month to people who cannot afford to feed themselves and their families. Figures released by Eurostat in 2014 named the British county of Cornwall as one of Europe's top ten poverty areas falling behind Poland, Lithuania and Hungary. Average wages were ??14,300 compared with the UK national figure of ??23,300 and ??20,750 across Europe. UK government statistics show almost a quarter of people living in the Camborne, Pool and Redruth (CPR) area of Cornwall are in one of the most deprived areas of England with the highest level of childhood obesity, almost a quarter of children aged under 16 living in poverty and the lowest life expectancy. The area, which has long suffered from severe industrial decline with the demise of the copper and tin mining industries, has not shared in the wealth created in nearby tourist havens such as Newquay, Padstow and St Ives. Cornwall is the only UK county to have previously received emergency funding from the European Union (EU) and was one of the major beneficiaries of the UK's membership of the EU due to the large amount of funding made available through the EUs Objective One and Convergence programmes. Despite this voters overwhelmingly backed the campaign to leave the European Union in the June 2016 referendum. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A reverse advent calendar is the perfect way to help out a food bank (Picture: Getty)

‘Getting donations early gives food banks time to sort through the items and get things to where they are needed most.’

Thousands of people took part in the initiative last year, and organisers hope it will be even bigger in 2018.

They have urged anyone interested in taking part to find out where their nearest food bank is and any particular shortages they have.

Some food banks may have a list of desired items online.



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