Lending a hand for Lent

By Heather Large | News | Published:

A food bank has launched an 80-can challenge for Lent to help replenish vital supplies.

Jen Coleman and Matthew Newell launch the appeal at the Black Country Foodbank

Black Country Foodbank is appealing for support to fill its shelves to ensure it does not run out of stockafter a busy year. It wants people to collect and donate 80 cans of food each.

The charity says last year was its busiest since it began in 2006. It provided 260,520 meals to those in crisis, including 96,380 for children.

Jen Coleman, the food bank’s office manager, said: “This is the second year that we have launched our 80-can challenge and we are hoping that even more schools, businesses, community groups churches and other faith groups will join in.

“The challenge is a really simple one, we are looking for donations of food and toiletries so we can make sure that we can meet the demand over the coming months.The challenge is to collect 80 items over the next few weeks but we are extremely grateful for any number of donations, it doesn’t need to be 80 items.”

The food bank is appealing for items such as cartons of UHT milk and fruit juice,jars of cooking sauces, boxes of breakfast cereal, packets of mashed potato, jam and marmalade, small jars of coffee, tinned fruit and tinned meat such as ham and corned beef.

The main issue people face is benefits being delayed or stopped, which leaves them turning to the food bank for help, while the roll-out of Universal Credit has also left some families in debt.

People can visit the food bank’s distribution centres to exchange vouchers for three days of emergency food supplies. For more information about how to help, including A list of donation points can be found at see

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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