Foodbank Advent

Friday 17th November 2017

This year, why not think about giving an item a day to a local foodbank over the advent period.

As adverts on the TV gently remind of Christmas some of us might give some thought to what we have planned for advent, but certainly by the time Christmas music is played in shops and restaurants most us know what our plans for the Christmas season will be. 

A lot of these plans will revolve around food, right from advent calendars to supermarket turkey sandwich comparisons to the big day, what we eat plays a big part in the celebrations. For those among us who rely on foodbanks, this can be extremely isolating. They cannot plan their meals effectively, or fantasise about a huge meal on December 25th. Many children will not get a small chocolate every day in December. Food poverty is an issue the whole year round, but at a time when children are not at school is particularly challenging to provide that extra meal.

This year many people are doing a reverse advent calendar or ‘Foodbank advent’. We are suggesting that as well as enjoying the traditional countdown to Christmas, we make room in our celebrations for giving. Beginning on 22 November, we will suggest one item a day, for 25 days, ending on 16th December. Then, before Christmas, donate the 25 items you have collected to your local foodbank. The reason it starts earlier is to allow time for the food to be dropped off at your local foodbank in time for Christmas.

The items will be things that foodbanks have need of, but feel free to substitute if you know of a particular need for something different. We also suggest dropping off some actual advent calendars off at your local foodbank before the start of December, to allow children (and adults!) to be part of the joy of preparing for Christmas.

We understand that dropping off large packages in London is tricky, so if you are struggling, but want to donate please let us know by emailing

To find your local foodbank, ask your parish priest or put your postcode into our social action map

Full list of suggestions:

-Day 1 Drinking chocolate 

-Day 2 Tin of fruit 

-Day 3 Bag of pasta

-Day 4 Shampoo/conditioner 

-Day 5 Milk (UHT, Soya, Rice) 

-Day 6 A jar of pasta sauce 

-Day 7 A bottle of washing up liquid 

-Day 8 A jar of instant coffee 

-Day 9 Kitchen towels 

-Day 10 A jar of jam 

-Day 11 A packet of sanitary products

-Day 12 A tin of meat   

-Day 13 A box of tea bags

-Day 14 A can of deodorant 

-Day 15 A packet of biscuits 

-Day 16 Toilet cleaner 

-Day 17 A carton of long-life fruit juice 

-Day 18 A tin of vegetables

-Day 19 A packet of toilet rolls 

-Day 20 A tinned pudding e.g. Rice Pudding, Sponge Pudding, Custard 

-Day 21 A box of washing powder 

-Day 22 Cereal bars 

-Day 23 Shaving foam 

-Day 24 A packet of disposable shaving razors 

-Day 25 A bottle of cooking oil 

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