Feed a Family: Kind neighbours rally to support Black Country Food Bank

A rallying call for donations of food to help those in need this Christmas has been answered by kind-hearted residents.

Justine Rogers, Tom Luxton, Claire Collins and Nikki Denning with donations for the Feed a Family This Christmas campaign
Justine Rogers, Tom Luxton, Claire Collins and Nikki Denning with donations for the Feed a Family This Christmas campaign

Tom Luxton, the Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for Earls Keep in Dudley, launched an appeal in aid of Black Country Food Bank.

Since starting the collection last month, he has been blown away by the support from people living on the estate.

After circulating leaflets about the appeal, Tom and his fellow organisers have been inundated with bags of food and toiletries as well as washing, pet and baby supplies.

“The response has been absolutely overwhelming – I can’t believe the amount of stuff that has been donated.

“There are over 200 dwellings on the estate and the majority have contributed something.

“Whenever I organise activities on the estate, they are always well supported,” explained Tom, who has been coordinating the estate’s Neighbourhood Watch scheme for around three years.

Among the items that have been given by residents are boxes of tea bags, coffee, jars of jam, biscuits, long-life milk, dog food, tinned goods, toiletries and washing up liquid.

Organisers were due to deliver all of the donations to the Black Country Food Bank’s warehouse in Brierley Hill today.

“We will have two cars full of stuff to take there. The support has been absolutely fantastic.

“I think people realise it’s going to be a tough Christmas for a lot of people.”

Tom started collecting donation just a few days before the Express & Star launched its Feed a Family This Christmas campaign in support of food banks across the region.

He said the appeal had sparked a lot of interest from residents who were eager to help people who were struggling due to the impacts of the pandemic such as unemployment.

The Express & Star is are asking anyone who can afford to do so to consider donating non-perishable food and toiletries to organisations working tirelessly to ensure that no one in our communities goes hungry this winter.

Many are seeing demand for support increased as a result of the pandemic and rising energy costs.

Thousands of food parcels are being handed out to individuals and families every week and charities need to keep their stock levels up to ensure everybody can get the help they need.

If you would like to donate food or toiletries, please use charities’ established donation points, listed on this page, to ensure items reach their dedicated teams quickly and safely so they can be passed on to those who need them.

We’ve also included a list of the essential items that are regularly needed including store cupboard essentials and seasonal treats.

What to donate

Any Christmas items need to have ‘best before’ dates beyond December.

Some food banks will not accept festive items after a certain date to ensure it can all be distributed in time for Christmas.

The food must not contain any alcohol (bear in mind for mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings and chocolates including selection boxes).

Cupboard essentials

  • Breakfast cereal (preferably non-sugared)

  • Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)

  • Jam, marmalade

  • Fruit juice (long-life)

  • Small jars of coffee

  • Hot chocolate

  • Tinned meat (ham, corned beef, Spam)

  • Tinned ready meals (chilli, meatballs, stew)

  • Tinned vegetarian ready meals (curry, ratatouille, macaroni cheese)

  • Packets of mashed potato/tinned potatoes

  • Tinned vegetables

  • Tinned fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Pasta sauce/cooking sauces

  • Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)

  • Tinned rice pudding/custard

  • Healthy snacks (small boxes of raisins/apricots)

  • Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads

Toiletries

  • Deodorants

  • Shampoo

  • Shower Gel

  • Soap

  • Toothbrushes

  • Toothpaste

  • Sanitary towels

Where to donate

Black Country Foodbank

The Storehouse, Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 2pm. Telephone: 01384 671250. Website: blackcountryfoodbank.org.uk. Deadline for Christmas food is December 3.

The Well

Unit 16, Wulfrun Trading Estate, Stafford Road, Wolverhampton WV10 6HH. Open Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 1pm. Please call 01902 256523 before you deliver. Sainsbury’s in Wombourne, Perton and Wednesfield have donation points as well as Asda in Wolverhampton. Website: thewellwolverhampton.co.uk.

Good Shepherd Ministry, Wolverhampton

Food and toiletries can be donated at Sainsbury’s in Chapel Ash. If you have a large number of items to donate, call 01902 399955 to arrange delivery or collection. Website: gsmwolverhampton.org.uk.

Harvest Community Food Bank

New Testament Church of God, New Trust Centre, 1 Wolverhampton Road (on the corner of Woden Road & Wolverhampton Road), Heath Town, Wolverhampton, WV10 0PD. Open Fridays between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. Referral is not necessary but proof of address is required. Telephone: 01902 453190. Email: info@ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk. Website: ntcgharvesttemple.org.uk.

Excel Church Food Bank

Wolverhampton Street, Bilston, WV14 0LT. 01902 402273. Open Monday to Wednesday, 9am to 5pm. excelchurch.org.uk/foodparcel.

Cannock and District Food Bank

Coniston Hall, Cecil Street, Chadsmoor, WS11 5HD. Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm. Telephone: 01543 422394. Website: cannockdistrict.foodbank.org.uk.

Rugeley Food Bank

Rugeley Community Centre, Burnthill Lane, Rugeley, WS15 2HX. Open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Tesco also have a collection point, as do most Rugeley churches. Telephone: 07528 447504. Website: rugeley.foodbank.org.uk.

Walsall North Food Bank

Pelsall Methodist Church, Chapel Street. Open Tuesdays, 11am to 1pm, and Fridays 1pm to 3pm. Telephone: 07582 869895. Website: walsallnorth.foodbank.org.uk.

Bloxwich and Blakenall Food Bank

Blakenall Village Centre, Thames Road, Blakenall, Walsall, WS3 1LZ. Open Thursdays 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07747 301374. Website: bloxwichblakenall.foodbank.org.uk.

Great Barr Food Bank

St Bernard’s Church, Broome Avenue Great Barr B43 5AL. Open Fridays 12pm to 3pm. Telephone: 0121 3575399. Website: greatbarr.foodbank.org.uk.

Smethwick Food Bank

Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill Street, Smethwick, B67 7AH. Tuesdays and Fridays, 12pm to 2pm. Telephone: 0121 5170141. Website: smethwick.foodbank.org.uk.

Quinton and Oldbury Food Bank

St Boniface Church, Quinton Road West, Quinton, B32 2QD. Open Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm. Telephone: 07732 157619. Website: quintonoldbury.foodbank.org.uk.

Kidderminster Food Bank, based at the Swan Centre

Food can be donated at Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys in Kidderminster, Tesco and Co-op in Stourport. Website: kidderminster.foodbank.org.uk.

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