Express & Star

Thank you! Massive support for Express & Star's Feed a Family This Christmas appeal

The final delivery of your generous donations for the Express & Star’s Feed A Family This Christmas appeal has been made, bringing some much-needed festive cheer to the community.

Reporter Heather Large with Gary Price from The Well during the final day of Feed a Family This Christmas deliveries

We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people across the Black Country and Staffordshire who dug deep again to help those less fortunate.

Donations of food and toiletries have flooded since we first launched the campaign four weeks ago in response to food banks and charities seeing numbers needing support continuing to rise.

Express & Star readers dig deep

We've had in excess of 14,000 items donated by readers including mountains of festive food, such as mince pies, chocolates and Christmas puddings, as well as basics including canned goods, long-life milk, fruit juice, pasta and rice.

We also had essential toiletries and baby supplies handed in to our supermarket drop-off points along with chocolate treats and children's selection boxes.

The causes we are supporting this year are:

  • Black Country Food Bank, which has centres across Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall

  • The Well (Home of Wolverhampton Food Bank)

  • Good Shepherd Ministry, based in Wolverhampton

  • The Haven in Wolverhampton

  • Cannock and District Food Bank.

Gary Price, from The Well, said: "I was to say a big thank you to all of those who have donated and supported the appeal. It's going to make a big difference to lots of families this Christmas."

Jen Coleman from the Black Country Food Bank said: "Black Country Foodbank have have had another busy year providing emergency food parcels for those in need.

"The Feed a Family initiative provides hope that we can continue in the early part of next year.

"The donations have been just the things that we run low on regularly such as fruit juice and UHT Milk.

Wood End Primary School pupils Hollie Ashbourne, Basileus Joseph and Emily Badger with their donations

"We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed to this important appeal."

Jade Secker, fundraising manager at The Haven, added: "Christmas is supposed to be a time for fun and creating happy memories. Unfortunately for those supported by The Haven who are fleeing abuse, this isn’t always easy.

"With the generous support of people like you, we try to make Christmas a little brighter and provide an all-round Christmas experience."

Our single biggest donation has been an amazing contribution of £4,000 of food and toiletries handed over by former Goodyear workers.

It is the fourth year in a row that kind-hearted members of the 5/344 Transport and General Workers Union Benevolent Fund have chosen to support the campaign.

Lichfield Food Bank also helped to get the appeal off to a flying start with a massive donation of almost 1,500 items.

Bags of rice and pasta, tins of meat and vegetables and boxes of cereal and teabags are among the gratefully-received donations.

Schools have also got on board collecting donations including Wood End Primary School in Wednesfield and Westcroft School in Underhill.

Pupils from Westcroft School who delivered their donations to the Express & Star offices

We've had support from businesses including Willenhall-based ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland and charity The Saleem Foundation, based in Dudley, also rallied around for the cause.

We even had a £20 cash donation from kind-hearted member of the public which was used to purchase supplies.

Plenty of well-known faces have also helped to raise awareness of the campaign since it began last month - and we even got the seal of approval from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street also supported the campaign by handing over bags of donations.

Stars of the stage Su Pollard, Jorgie Porter and Dani Dyer also took time out of rehearsals at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre to urge readers to get behind the appeal.