Guardian launches Feed our Families campaign ahead of Christmas

Bassetlaw District Council chief executive, Neil Taylor officially launched the Bassetlaw Food Bank in Lowtown Street, Worksop on Monday
Bassetlaw District Council chief executive, Neil Taylor officially launched the Bassetlaw Food Bank in Lowtown Street, Worksop on Monday

Today the Worksop Guardian is calling on kind-hearted readers to spare some food to help fight poverty during the festive season.

We are launching a new Feed Our Families campaign in the run up to Christmas, by making sure our local food banks are well stocked for those who cannot afford to feed themselves.

At a time when more and more people are battling against the breadline, with household incomes at breaking point, people are still turning to the lifeline of food banks to put food on the family table.

That is why we at the Worksop Guardian, along with sister papers including the Mansfield Chad and Derbyshire Times, are taking up the baton and asking you to get on board to boost the food bank by making a donation.

Carol Freeman, Bassetlaw Food Bank co-ordinator, said: “We are always in need of food donations all year round.

“We have just had a lady bring three large bags of food in because she used the food bank last year. She is now back on her feet and thought of us. And we have already had people come in who wanted to bring Christmas items. I think more people are aware of the shortage at Christmas.”

Carol said the food bank would like to include some festive food items in the parcels they distribute, so any donations of Christmas puddings, mince pies and chocolate, among others, would be much appreciated.

She said: “People don’t have to bring big bags in – just one item will make a difference.”

A variety of people visit food banks for a number of different reasons, including zero-hour contracts, unemployment and bereavements.

People are not simply able to come in off the street to claim the food – care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, the Citizens Advice and the police identify those in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher which can be brought to the centre and redeemed for three days of emergency food, which is tailored to dietary requirements,

Carol said: “We had a 16-year-old come in and we get the elderly, the ages are across the board. “People only need to ask, it is what we are here for.”

Nancy Fielder, Guardian group editor, said: “This isn’t about handing over cash. This isn’t about pricking your conscience.

“This is about something much more simple than that. This is about you having the power to improve lives – the lives of your neighbours, friends and colleagues.

“Take a look in your cupboards. Buy an extra tin when you do the weekly shop.”

Bassetlaw Food Bank is located on Lowtown Street, Worksop, and there is also a distribution centre in Retford, on Exchange Street.

People can visit the food banks between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday.

People can also email info@bassetlawfoodbank.org with any questions, or call 01909 486770.