Last year, Clapham Park Foodbank distributed 56 Christmas Hampers to people in our community who were in urgent need of winter support. These hampers consisted to festive food stuffs, and small presents for families with children.
We believe that people in crisis in our community deserve to have a happy Christmas, which is why we want to distribute even more this year.
However, we cannot do it without your support. Could you make a donation – big or small – to help us put these packages together?
Why do our community need Christmas Hampers?
There are many reasons why an individual might need some extra help at Christmas. However, there is no doubt that the festive season puts great pressure on individuals who are working with tight budgets or coping with health problems.
For vulnerable families, the holiday season leads to tough decisions. Free School Meal provision offers nutritional meals to deprived children in term-time, but this service does not run in school vacations.
This, coupled with the recess of many after-school care providers during the winter break, means that parents have to spend much more to keep their children looked after and fed.
In research released in summer 2017, the Trussell Trust estimated that the absence of free meals over the school holidays can cost a family up to £30-40 a week. For many families, the cost of childcare in the holidays means that festive food and Christmas presents are near impossible to afford.
The winter challenges the elderly and unwell too. For many, the cost of fuel is too high – exacerbated by poor fuel efficiency in many urban properties. This type of poverty has a disproportionate impact on some of the most vulnerable in our society; especially those who are ill, or unable to take on extra work to make ends meet.
For elderly, ill, and vulnerable people, many of whom already suffer from isolation and mental health issues, the cost of living each winter can simply become unbearable. When you struggle to scrape together enough to heat your home, food for Christmas lunch will be the last thing on your mind.
It’s a sad fact that festive celebrations in this community will coincide with hardship and budget tightening for many individuals in the situations detailed above. To build cohesion, reduce stress and share festival goodwill, we believe a Christmas Hamper delivery is a crucial winter intervention.
Who gets them?
Clapham Park work closely with frontline professional agencies to identify the people in our community who most need a Christmas Hamper. In 2017, we received referrals from medical professionals at local GP practices and partner charities such as Age UK.
Invariably, the individuals who receive these hampers are facing one, or more of the scenarios detailed above. Like all Trussell Trust Foodbanks, our clients are referred from frontline professional agencies and organisations, who identify them as in need of urgent and emergency food support.
What can you do?
To support the Christmas Hamper project, we need your donations of festive food and snacks. Last year, we made a range of different hampers, but many included foodstuffs like:
- Mince Pies
If you want to donate food like this, please drop donations off at our Foodbank during our opening hours – Tuesday 11:00 – 14:00 or Friday 11:00 – 14:00, or put them in one of our collection boxes at Tesco, Clapham South Side or Waitrose, Balham High Street.
Christmas hampers are delivered separate to normal food parcels, meaning that our nutritious three-day emergency food packages are still available to those who find themselves in crisis at Christmas time. If you want to contribute to these crisis packages, please check out our shopping list.