Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the local Cambridge community, registrations to donate to Cambridge City Foodbank’s annual Christmas hamper campaign 2020 have now reached full capacity. Managed this year by Cambridge City Foodbank, Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Sustainable Food, the Christmas hamper campaign will see 500 festive food parcels donated to families who are struggling financially.
Donations to the campaign were pre-registered to ease the logistics of hamper delivery, however Cambridge City Foodbank has confirmed that there are still plenty of other ways that you can support families in need this festive period. One way to do this safely, within the current lockdown restrictions, is to purchase a small gift for inclusion in one of the 500 hampers via Cambridge Sustainable Food’s online wish lists. Also, people are being encouraged to kindly support families struggling with their energy bills during the winter months, by donating to the Cambridge Warm Homes campaign.
Margaret Saner, CEO of Cambridge City Foodbank comments: “A huge thank you to all the individuals, families, businesses and community groups who have donated to our Christmas Hamper Campaign this year. It is wonderful to be collaborating with Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Sustainable Food this year to ensure that the hampers reach as many families in need as possible across the city and throughout the county. We know that each kind donations will make a real difference to a Cambridge family, helping them to have a happier and healthier Christmas.”
This immense showcase of support from the Cambridge community could not come at a more critical time. New figures released by Cambridge City Foodbank reveal that 4,377 emergency food parcels were provided to people between April and September this year – a 7% increase on the same period in 2019. 1,604 of these food parcels went to support children.
Margaret Saner continues: “This year we have seen a significant rise in the volume of people needing our support and this is largely as a result of people’s finances being impacted by the pandemic due to furlough, reduced working hours and redundancies. People have to wait to receive Universal Credit and, at this stage of the pandemic in particular, any savings there may have been are gone. Unfortunately, it is likely we are only just beginning to see the impact of COVID-19 on our community and there will be much worse to come.”
Cambridge City Foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which has recently reported that more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials between 1st April and 30th September 2020, making it the busiest ever half-year period for food banks; over 470,000 of these parcels went to children.
Cambridge City Foodbank is urging everyone to check the website for the latest list of items required to meet everyday family needs; currently there is a particular need for rice pudding, tinned salmon and tuna, and meals in cans (for example, chilli). The Foodbank is also short of carrier bags. If you would like to give festive items, the charity is asking for these to be donated by early December at the latest, to ensure that volunteers have enough time to process and distribute these donations to people before Christmas.
To donate financially to the Foodbank, please visit its Virgin Money Giving page.