A foodbank is launching a ‘reverse advent calendar’ – asking people to donate daily gifts for the needy.
Provide Devon based in Honicknowle in Plymouth is asking for donations so they can be distributed to crisis-hit families in desperate need of food.
Donation boxes will be positioned in nearly every Co-op store in Plymouth as well as libraries and local businesses.
Companies are being urged to get in touch if they would like to host their own donation box.
People are being urged to buy items of food as they shop and then drop them in the boxes when they leave.
Organisations contact the charity when a family they are helping is in desperate need of food.
More often than not, these include schools, who spot children coming to class hungry, and charities who support people who have lost their home.
Charity Manager Ayshea Cross said: “We are like an ambulance service for families forced to go hungry, working with official services like the NHS who identify people in crisis.
“They contact and we then deliver a package of food as soon as possible, including other essentials such as toiletries where we can.
“The people we help have fallen into crisis due to circumstances out of their control.
”They might have suffered an injury, lost a job, become homeless or fled domestic violence.
“They may not be able to feed their children, let along themselves.
“Nobody should be forced to go hungry, least of all at Christmas when demand for our services is often at its highest.
“Please, please donate food if you can to our reverse advent calendar.
”The donation points will be in obvious places at shops across Plymouth and by donating you will be making a real difference to a family’s life this Christmas.”
Provide Devon are based in a unit on a business park in Honicknowle where the shelves are stacked with food ready to be transferred to those in need.
”Unfortunately, keeping those shelves stacked is an extremely tough challenge.”
The charity accepts food donations and cash – you can donate money by visiting their website providedevon.org.uk
Ayshea added: “We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our supporters across Plymouth this year. Without you too many families would be forced to go hungry.
“Sadly though we are in constant need of support and I’d urge everyone reading this to consider whether you can spare anything at all to help those in crisis.”