Doing Something Good This Christmas

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Doing Something Good This Christmas

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This year, I decided to put some good out into the world. Racking my brain for something to do, I realised that I have never donated to a food bank before. There are so many people in the UK that really need these services; between April and September this year 5,100 emergency food parcels were delivered per day which was an increase of 11% compared to the same period in 2019. If you (like me) have been incredibly lucky to never have been in the position where you needed to use a food bank, you probably don’t even know where to start. Here is my experience donating, it might inspire you to take a look yourself. 

At first, I figured I would just go round and pick out what I thought would be useful, you know, soups, beans and the like but then it hit me - that is probably what everyone else does. It’s all well and good trying to do something for other people but if it doesn’t actually help is there a point? Of course, it can be said every little helps but I had a google and found that my local foodbank had a list of what they didn’t need and more importantly, what they did.  

As suspected, everything you automatically think of was on this list of what they had enough of. I guess this is because when people think non-perishables, they think soup and beans. Other things that it seems are donated in abundance are pasta sauce and biscuits.  


Things that my local food banks needed were:  

  • UHT milk 
  • Potatoes instant mash or tinned 
  • Tinned fruit (very urgent)  
  • Small/medium jars of coffee (very urgent)  
  • Tinned or packet custard 
  • Bottles fruit squash/juice (very urgent)  
  • Tinned hot and cold meat 
  • Tinned/packet custard 
  • Rice pudding  

Grabbing as much of this stuff as I could, I also grabbed some sanitary pads because they were accepting non-food products and I know that period poverty is a huge issue.  

What actually gets given out though? My local bank provides 3 days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food. A typical food parcel includes: 

  • Breakfast cereals 
  • Soup 
  • Pasta 
  • Rice 
  • Pasta sauce 
  • Tinned beans 
  • Tinned meat 
  • Tinned vegetables 
  • Tinned fruit  
  • Tea or coffee 
  • Sugar 
  • Biscuits 
  • Snacks 

They can also change it if there are any specific dietary needs.  

When I went to drop off my donations, I actually found two lovely ladies at the front of the store collecting donations. It was an easy drop off and I was paid back with a happy smile and a thank you. It made me feel great to have been able to help someone else. This is a simple way to give back and I will definitely be doing it on the regular now.  


- Rach