Staff from Willenhall-based ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland have been busy collecting donations of food and toiletries to help families and individuals during the festive period.
The firm has been a big supporter of the campaign every year since it started and this year has been no exception.
Dedicated staff working at the site as well as those working from home have dropped off donations at charities helping those in need in our communities.
Speaking on behalf of the firm, market region manager Harry Warrender said: "This campaign is extremely close to all of our hearts. During the last two years so many people in our local community have been impacted by the pandemic.
"We are proud to be supporting the Feed a Family campaign and over the last six years our teams have come together to help families over the festive season and beyond.
"We’ve had lots of donations so far from our colleagues based on-site and for those working from home many are supporting by dropping off donations locally."
This year, the Express & Star is encouraging those who can afford to do so to consider donating food and toiletries to food banks and other charities helping people in need in our communities.
Tens of thousands of emergency food and toiletry parcels have been handed out across the Midlands since last year’s appeal, which is why we are once again asking for help.
Demand for food banks across the region has risen again this year as individuals and families struggle to make ends meet.
The effects of the pandemic continue to be felt with the end of both furlough and the Universal Credit uplift and now rising energy bills are putting more people under additional financial strain.
The Black Country Food Bank has provided just over 600,000 meals for people in crisis so far this year.
The Well in Wolverhampton fed more than 11,000 people between April 2020 and March this year, with demand showing no signs of slowing down, whilst Cannock and District Food Bank is feeding, on average, approximately 600 people a month.
Charities are appealing for donations of seasonal treats such as mince pies, chocolates and Christmas puddings, as well as basics including canned meat and vegetables, long-life milk, fruit juice, coffee, breakfast cereals and rice.
If you would like to donate food or toiletries, please use charities’ established donation points to ensure items reach their dedicated teams quickly and safely so they can be passed on to those who need them.
This week sees the launch of the annual Feed a Family appeal, encouraging everyone who is able to to help the region's under-pressure food banks this Christmas.
For those unsure of what items are needed and suitable, here is an easy-to-follow list of the most useful products to donate to our very worthy causes.
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).
Breakfast cereal (preferably non-sugared)
Milk (UHT or powder, preferably semi-skimmed)
Fruit juice (long-life)
Small jars of coffee
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 fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon & sardines)
Pasta sauce/cooking sauces
Tinned fruit (in juice preferably)
Tinned rice pudding/custard
Healthy snacks (small boxes of raisins/apricots)
Biscuits, crackers, crispbreads
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.
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: email@example.com. 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.