Reverse Advent 2020
What is a reverse advent
Instead of opening a little window and perhaps enjoying a little chocolate each day in December, for 25 days in November, each day I will be donating an item for a local foodbank.
I won’t be going over to the foodbank every day! I’ll be getting a big box to put it all in, then in the first few days of December, I’ll take it to the foodbank.
I am a member of UK Money Bloggers, a group of people who write about money in all it’s many forms. This year, as we have for the last 4 years, we have got together to do a reverse advent.
You could, of course, pop an item or three into the foodbank donation points all the supermarkets have now, each time you shop. A reverse advent is a way to make donating fun, and encouraging people to take part
What I will be including in my reverse advent calendar
Food banks can only accept ambient items. Very few are able to accept fresh food because donations are stored and given out when needed. Often the foodbank is open only a couple of days a week, so anything fresh may well be wasted.
Christmassy things like mince pies, chocolate and cake are lovely and most people enjoy them, but they are not part of a food package given out and will be added extras. If you need to use a foodbank, it’s daily necessities that you need, so if you would like to donate something with that Christmas vibe, just add 3 or 4 items to your box, along with the rice pudding and dried mashed potato.
Daily necessities could include things like dried milk, tinned jam puddings, tinned meat or deodorant. Find out what your local food bank needs before buying any donations as each one will have their own particular shortages and needs. My local bank for instance says on their website that they need long life orange juice, tinned meat of any sort, jam/marmalade and tins of tuna. They have plenty of baked beans, pasta, tomato sauce and loo rolls (lucky them – lock down shortages having already begun!)
This is the box I collected together last year. They were very short of toiletries in 2019, so the box contains mainly those, with a few treats on top. I’d bought a tub of choccies and divided them up wrapping them in cellophane so they looked pretty. Will you join me in this fun activity over the next few weeks? I’ll be posting on facebook and possibly Twitter what I’m putting in the box each day so you can see what I’m doing
Why a reverse advent is needed
2020 has been a difficult year to say the least. We have had Covid 19 doing it’s thing and at the time of writing we are about to go into the second national lockdown of the year. The financial and mental stress on people is huge. Thousands will lose their jobs as furlough stops and businesses go under. Families losing their means of support and seriously struggling to make ends meet. The Trussell Trust report that over 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK alone. It doesn’t take much to tip an individual, a couple or a family over the edge if they are already living from paycheck to paycheck.
The Trussell Trust states that a record busting 1.9 MILLION food bank parcels have been given out this year so far. The forecast is that 6 emergency food parcels every minute will be given out this winter, an increase of 61% on last year! That’s huge. And let’s be clear here. This is not just people being a bit more hard up, this is people struggling to feed themselves and their children in one of the richest countries in the world. Just stop and think about what that must be like
I don’t know about you, but I find that completely unacceptable
Can’t leave the house?
Some of us will be avoiding supermarkets at the moment as we begin a month of lockdown. If that is the case for you, and you would still like to take part, there are a few alternatives. If you are shopping online, many supermarkets now have foodbank donation options
- Morrisons – you can buy a £10 food bank voucher that goes towards 60 of the most needy foodbanks in the UK
- Waitrose – you can add a digital green token at checkout, as you do in store
- Tesco – you can convert Clubcard vouchers to a donation to the Trussell Trust
Or, perhaps the easiest of all, you could make a financial donation to your local foodbank or the national Trussell Trust organisation. Foodbanks are always in need of cash to run the delivery/pickup vans, keep the warehouse running and buy in supplies of things they are desperately short of. Last December, the foodbank nearest to me, and the one that I support, received a generous cash donation that enabled them to give every family a fresh chicken for Christmas lunch. Plus the local cinema put on a special screening of Frozen 2 for foodbank families, and a local organisation donated a whole load of chocolate sweeties to munch while enjoying the film, all helping to bring some festive joy.
Pin for later
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one