NOURISH Community Foodbank is urging people to plan their Advent calendar with a twist this year.
Instead of waiting for your daily chocolate treat, Nourish’s ‘reverse Advent calendar’ campaign is asking residents to put an essential food item into a box every day up to Christmas.
Nourish is a volunteer-led initiative set up in response to the increasing numbers of low-income working households who cannot make ends meet once they have paid their bills.
It also helps individuals and families who have been hit by a range of issues, such as benefit changes, sickness, domestic violence, debt problems, low-paid work or unemployment.
“Christmas is an incredibly busy time,” said the charity’s co-Chair, Olga Johnson. “Last year we provided Christmas dinner and emergency food bags for 46 families and 21 individuals.
She added: “We struggle to meet the challenge and it also leaves our shelves quite empty during January and February.
“We know people are extremely generous in the run-up to Christmas, and donating a reverse Advent calendar means that we have enough to help those in need, not only over the festive period but also into the start of next year.”
Royal Victoria Place [RVP] shopping centre will be supporting the Nourish campaign with a pop-up store in Ely Court from December 20-23.
“It’s a great idea and we are delighted to be involved,” said RVP Manager Nicky Blanchard.
Tunbridge Wells’ Tesco Metro and Tesco in Pembury are also backing the initiative.
“We have been supporting and working with the Nourish team throughout the year. Both stores will be helping to run a special food drive in RVP on December 1-3 to kick start the campaign,” said Graham Scothern, of the Tunbridge Wells store.
Supporters are being encouraged to share their calendars on social media using the hashtags #NourishFoodbank and #OurTownCares.
Completed calendars can be dropped off at the Nourish pop-up shop in RVP’s Ely Court on December 20-23 between 12noon and 5pm, or at any time at Big Yellow Self Storage, Longfield Road.