What is a Reverse Advent Calendar and how can it combat food poverty this winter?

Of course we’ve all heard of advent calendars and chances are most of us are looking forward to a daily treat from ours this December.  Whether you opt for the classic chocolate, or something fancy with beauty products or alcohol, advent calendars are a staple of December and the run-up to Christmas.

But for some families in our community the reality is that December will be a month of choosing between heating and eating, rather than receiving a treat each day.  And things only get harder in January: With Christmas debts to pay off and winter dragging on, it’s no surprise that ‘Blue Monday,’ the supposed saddest day of the year, falls in January.

So we’re turning advent calendars on their head this Christmas & asking you all to join in with our feel-good reverse advent calendar campaign.

What is a reverse advent calendar?

As the name suggests, instead of receiving a treat each day in December (you can still do that separately, of course), you give something that will help out a local person or family facing financial hardship.

At this time of year our foodbank supplies are more in demand than ever, and donations tend to fall too.  We know how tough winter can be and this year, with fuel price hikes and the £20 a week decrease in Universal Credit, the poorest in our community could struggle without support from their neighbours, friends and local charities.  So this is where you come in!

Each day in December we’re encouraging you to add a crucial item to the supplies in our food bank. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Get yourself a box and the advent calendar printout
  • Each day, as well as opening a door on your usual advent calendar, add an item to the box of supplies for IP17GNS.
  • By Christmas you will have collected a gift box of 24 essential supplies for a local person or family.
  • Deliver it to us at The Town House whenever you can (office is open weekdays 10am-2pm)
  • We will distribute your donated items to those who desperately need them.

Each item in our reverse advent calendar printout is a suggestion based on items we find are most in demand.  The whole box can be collected for less than £12.00 so you really don’t need to break the bank to give an amazing gift this Christmas.  That said, you are welcome to get creative with our suggestions or spend a little more if you’re able to.  All we ask is that the items have a long shelf life and can be useful to those on a low income.  We can’t wait to see how the community comes together to support each other!

We’re inviting everyone to get involved with the reverse advent calendar: From families and individuals to community groups, work places and schools.  It’s a practical and tangible way to start a little charity at home this winter and all donations will be distributed within the IP17 area.

In return you’ll be getting something much more meaningful than chocolate….the gratitude of everyone at IP17GNS, you community and the knowledge that you’ve done an amazing thing!