Clevedon Foodbank feeds families with festive projects

Yeates MD James Griffin with Foodbank volunteers John Clarke and Richard Bunce.

Yeates MD James Griffin with Foodbank volunteers John Clarke and Richard Bunce. - Credit: Archant

The Christmas period is tough on finances for many families in North Somerset, but one of the district’s foodbanks is running a number of schemes to help make life just a little bit easier.

Waitrose, High Street, Nailsea - Members of Clevedon Foodbank attending supermarket to promote Chris

Waitrose, High Street, Nailsea - Members of Clevedon Foodbank attending supermarket to promote Christmas hamper appeal. - Credit: Archant

Clevedon and District Foodbank, based in Knowles Road, has had a bumper harvest this autumn with more than 4,000kg of food items donated to it – so much that Clevedon-based removal company Yeates has provided some extra storage space.

Most of the food – donated by schools, nurseries and churches – will go towards the foodbank’s annual Christmas hamper appeal which sends boxes full of festive items – such as Christmas puddings, biscuits and mince pies – to families in need across the district.

About 250 hampers were handed out during last year’s campaign and volunteers are hopeful that record could be broken this December when the boxes get packaged up and sent off to local care agencies.

But the logistical costs in sending off the hampers, as well as other expenses, means the group also needs financial support and is asking people to donate to its Pound A Week campaign.

Kelly Croxton, administrator at the foodbank, said: “While almost all the food the foodbank gives out is generously donated, and all the work is done by volunteers, the foodbank still needs to cover its expenses – rent on warehouses and other running costs, plus special projects such as lunch bags and Christmas hampers.

“The foodbank is grateful to have been supported so far by a single major donation, but that is coming to the end of its fixed term – so an appeal is being launched to raise funds to secure the foodbank’s future for those in the community who need it.”

Other initiatives are being run by the foodbank this winter, including an Eat Well, Spend Less course to help people on tight budgets improve their diet and a money management course, both of which will begin in January.

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It also handed out 384 lunch bags to 64 schoolchildren in the summer, helping families and pupils who rely on receiving free school meals during term time, and will continue that during the Christmas holidays.

Kelly added: “The lunch bags project supports low-income families, replacing the free school meals their children would miss across the holidays.

“Schools will be offering vouchers to parents again in December for the Christmas fortnight.”

To donate to the Christmas hamper appeal, leave your items at the foodbank warehouse by Friday. Alternatively, take them to the Tesco branch in Clevedon, Sainsbury’s in Portishead or Waitrose in Nailsea. Click here to join the Pound a Week campaign.