SUPPORTERS of Rotherham Foodbank are urged to begin a “reverse advent calendar” today (1) to help with supplies this Christmas.
The idea is to place one donation item a day into a box until December 24 and then drop off the goodies at the charity’s base.
The foodbank, run by Hope Church on Grove Road, has already fed record numbers of people this year.
Manager Steve Prosser said: “The reverse advent calendar is a simple idea which people seem to like. Businesses can pitch it to their staff to bring things in through the month.
“The idea is to place one thing in the box every day, like a tin of food or a toiletry item. By Christmas Eve, you will have a box full of donations.
“December 24 is when we have one of our services here, so there will be people here to take in the boxes.”
He added: “We’d also like to put up pictures here of the people and businesses who have taken part and helped.”
The foodbank began in a single cupboard in the offices of Voluntary Action Rotherham in 2012. Last week it opened a new warehouse as demand hit record levels.
Steve took over in February 2016 because previous manager Rev Danny Miller decided the position needed someone who could afford to dedicate more time.
“When this started, it could be managed as a one-person job,” said Steve. “Now we have 3,000 people being fed, there’s a lot more organisation involved and it’s much more than a one-person job.
“It’s just grown continually. I find I just haven’t enough hours in the day.”
Cash donations are also needed now more than ever to help the foodbank pay its bills.
The 200 Club campaign aims to find 200 people willing to sign up to giving £5 a month via standing order.
Steve said: “We know people like to contribute directly to the people we are helping by donating food, but as we have grown there have been other costs to consider.
“Our telephone costs are quite substantial, and there’s also internet costs, electricity and other utility bills. There’s lots of things people don’t always think about.
“The 200 Club is a great alternative way for people to help us.
“What I want to be able to do is get that to a position where it doesn’t just cover money costs. It would mean we can go and purchase food, targeted on what we need most.”