Lincolnshire Co-op’s Advent campaign

Food and hygiene products are needed to help food banks support vulnerable people into the new year and beyond, as Lincolnshire Co-op launches a food bank advent calendar campaign.

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The appeal encourages people to donate vital supplies, one on each of the 24 days until Christmas, ranging from tins of tuna and jars of jam, to toothpaste and washing detergent.

These can then be donated at the collection points located in Lincolnshire Co-op’s 94 food stores, or built in collection boxes at home to give directly to the 39 participating food banks and community larders after Christmas including Horncastle’s Community Larder.

The advent calendar is available on Lincolnshire Co-op’s website and on posters in store and outlines specific items to collect.

Horncastle Community Larder spokesman, Isabel Forrester said that the scheme makes a real difference to their clients: “It’s a fantastic scheme and we love that the Co-op is so proactive in supporting charities like ours.

“People always like to gift at this time of year and it really helps people who are less fortunate to have a proper Christmas.”

Lincolnshire Co-op members can also choose to donate their dividend at the till in food stores – last year, £18,875 was generously gifted. Community engagement manager at Lincolnshire Co-op, Sam Turner, said: “The Food Bank Advent Calendar campaign was a great success last year. We saw the community come together to collect almost seven tonnes of products, which is the equivalent of over 16,455 meals. It would be wonderful to be able to offer the same level of support to food banks this year and any contribution is greatly appreciated.”

Horncastle Community Larder launched its Christmas appeal in last week’s Horncastle News and is encouraging donations of festive fare, including Christmas crackers, chocolates, fresh fruit and vegetables and small gifts, so that everyone has a present to open on Christmas Day.

These donations can be dropped off at St Mary’s Church in Horncastle town centre. Those wanting to participate can find the calendar at www.lincolnshire.coop/foodbankadvent