FEARS have been raised Stratford foodbank will not receive enough donations to fill its Christmas hampers this year.
With November and December already busy months, the pandemic has seen extra strain on the charity.
And while volunteers are busy preparing for the foodbank’s annual ‘Community Christmas Hampers’ project, there may not be enough items to fill the 300 hampers.
Local support agencies such as Citizens Advice, social services, schools and churches, rely on the project to support those struggling at Christmas.
Foodbank manager Marion Homer said: “Our community hamper project has become a cornerstone of local community Christmas welfare. Each year referral agencies nominate families and individuals they believe would appreciate a bag of Christmas treats.
“Unlike our usual emergency food parcels, these nominations could be for any individual or family for who Christmas is going to be difficult, not just those in a financial crisis. Unfortunately, with all that’s happened in 2020, we are expecting more nominations than ever.”
Each year a food drive is held at Tesco between November 19 to 21, and while the event is still happening volunteers cannot take part due to covid. It means shopping lists cannot be distributed and the foodbank also believes footfall into the store will be lighter.
Marion added: “We really need to raise awareness about our hamper project and the fact that we need help.
“In previous years Stratford residents have always been so generous, but we appreciate this year we are all facing challenges. We hope people will respond by leaving us one or two items from our Christmas hamper list in our collection baskets – either during the drive itself or by bringing the items directly to us at the Methodist Church.
“We are asking for festive donations to be with us by December 9 so we have time to collate them into our hampers. Items received after this date will be still be of value but may be distributed after Christmas.”
Items suitable for the Christmas hampers include tinned ham, mince pies, chocolate yule log cakes, small Christmas cakes, Christmas biscuits, savoury treats and tins of sweets along with standard foodbank items.
Foodbank collection baskets can be found at Tesco, Morrison’s, Waitrose, Lidl, Sainsbury’s Local on Bridge Street, and Co-op branches on Trinity Mead and in Bidford.
Alternatively, donations can be bought direct to the foodbank’s warehouse at Stratford Methodist Church on Mondays or Wednesdays between 2pm and 4pm or Saturday between 9.30am and 11.30am.
People can also visit www.justgiving.com/stratforduponavon-foodbank to donate.