The festive season saw the food bank’s volunteers collecting Christmassy items, so that every recipient received a couple of Christmas treats such as chocolates, a Christmas pudding or Christmas dinner staples as well as other essentials for a three-day supply of food, which were then delivered by Horncastle Lions over December 19, 20 and 21.
Donation points at Tesco and Lincolnshire Co-op in the town saw more than five trollies full of items donated, and Tesco donated 300 Christmas crackers to the appeal.
The Ship Inn also appealed for chocolate treats for the festive hampers, which saw more than 150 selection boxes, chocolate biscuits, Advent calendars and more.
After what’s been one of the busiest years in its history, the volunteers at the food bank have been working flat out to put together these hampers, of which this year there have been 140 sent out to struggling families and individuals in the area – up from 85 last year.
Hundreds of Christmas presents were also donated by local people and businesses to ensure everyone had a gift to unwrap on Christmas Day.
Community larder spokesman Isabel Forrester said: “People have really been amazing, we had 365 presents and it took more than 20 volunteers around 90 minutes to wrap them.
"We’ve had so many from community groups including the Masons, Platform Housing, Horncastle Air Cadets the Co-op, Children’s Links, Churches Together and the Lions – it’s been amazing but a huge amount of work and it’s taken so many people to get everything done.”
Isabel is now extending heartfelt thanks, on behalf of the larder’s volunteers, to everyone who has helped them over the past 12 months, as well as anticipating a very tough couple of months in January and February.
"We really want to celebrate our brilliant community,” Isabel said, “Our stance is that no-one should go without at Christmas and the community always gets right behind us.”
But now that the new year is upon us, Isabel said the larder is anticipating a much tougher January and February than usual as these are normally their busiest months, but this year many more people will be struggling due to the cost of living crisis.
"Our food donation are always down in January and February as people will be short of cash, but we’d really appreciate any donations people were able to give.”
The larder would appreciate donations of tinned meat, toiletries, tinned vegetables including sweetcorn, beans and potatoes, desserts such as Angel Delight and custard and hot drinks.
Donations can be accepted at Tesco's in Horncastle, the Co-ops Conging Street and High Street, The Original Factory Shop on Boston Road, St Mary's Church in Horncastle and St Margaret's Church in Hemingby.