Pass the Parcel appeal launched to present foodbanks with surplus gifts

CAMPAIGNER: Emma Chesworth who launched the Pass the Parcel appeal can be found on Twitter @EmmaChesworth1

CAMPAIGNER: Emma Chesworth who launched the Pass the Parcel appeal can be found on Twitter @EmmaChesworth1

CHRISTMAS is over for another year, the decorations have been packed away and resolutions made for 2016, guest blogger Emma Chesworth writes.

Many of us will have bowls of nuts and satsumas still uneaten and boxes of chocolates and biscuits for cheese still unopened.

Among the gifts of socks, calendars and DVDs, you might find you have more than a couple of smellies and toiletries. If so, you might consider ‘passing the parcel’.

I launched Pass the Parcel last year. The idea is simple. People donate any unwanted Christmas present of toiletries and we give them to the Trussell Trust foodbanks in Stockton.

Last year, the Trussell Trust foodbanks in Stockton supported well in excess of 4,000 people providing three day emergency food supplies to them. As well as food, they can also provide toiletries. Necessities such as sanitary products, toilet rolls, shampoo, soap and deodorants all cost money too!

Pass the Parcel last year proved a huge success and throughout January we collected 282 items of toiletries for the foodbanks. This year we are doing the campaign again.

Sadly, the need for foodbanks shows no sign of easing. Between April and September 2015, the Trussell Trust nationally provided 506,369 three day emergency food supplies – 185,218 of those were for children.

The two main reasons for referrals to Trussell Trust foodbanks are delays in benefits and low income. Hunger and worrying where the next meal will come from remains an issue for low income families and individuals. Families, single people, young people, elderly people can all find themselves in a situation where they need help. And the foodbanks do cracking work but they always need supplies to donate.

Emma Chesworth

While at the foodbank one day, a gentleman who was getting a food parcel saw there were toiletries available and asked if he could have some deodorant. He was SO pleased to get some. Nothing special, not a treat or luxury. Just deodorant.

So, if you have bubble bath, shower gel, soaps or any toiletries you might not use, why not Pass the Parcel?

Donations can be left in the reception areas of Five Lamps, Dovecot Street, Stockton and at Five Lamps, at South Thornaby Community Centre, Havilland Road, Thornaby. There are buckets in each reception area.

Thank you.

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