By Andy Tong

MAKE A DATE Nourish Food Bank will collect its calendars in Ely Court

NOURISH Community Foodbank is marking its fifth anniversary by launching a repeat of last year’s highly successful Reverse Advent calendar campaign.

Instead of opening a little door for your daily chocolate treat, Nourish is asking residents to put an essential food item into a box every day up to Christmas.

“We ran this last year for the first time to help us meet the Christmas demand and ensure plentiful stocks for the New Year,” said Nourish Co-Chair Olga Johnson.

“We were amazed and delighted at how people in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and the surrounding areas took the idea to heart.

“We received nine tonnes of essential foodbag items in December, and it would be fantastic if we could celebrate our anniversary with even more food and financial donations this year.”

Royal Victoria Place shopping centre will again be supporting the Nourish campaign and has donated a pop-up shop in Ely Court to raise awareness of the cause every Saturday in December.

The shop will be open each afternoon from December 20-22 to allow supporters to drop off their completed calendars.

These can also be donated at the Big Yellow Self Storage on Longfield Road.

As an alternative, a £3 donation is enough to buy someone in need a foodbag meal over the Christmas period.

“When we started Nourish in November 2012, we knew people were going hungry, we just didn’t know how great the need was,” added Mrs Johnson.

“During that time, it’s been a constant challenge to meet the growing demand of people going hungry. In total, we’ve provided food to more than 12,200 people. That’s almost 110,000 meals.”

Nourish is asking members of the public, schools, churches and businesses to get involved in the innovative scheme.

The foodbank has created a wishlist of the most needed items, which include Christmas treats, tinned potatoes, instant mash, dried noodles, long-life milk, coffee, small toiletries and household items.

Supporters are being encouraged to share their calendars on social media using the hashtags #NourishFoodbank and #OurTownCares