Stretford Foodbank has temporarily closed the door on donations after an overwhelming response from the local community.
The charity has received more items than it has space to store – with hundreds of cans, packets and cartons being delivered to the Winchester Road site over the past few weeks.
Now, Streford Foodbank is encouraging people to consider contributing food to the ‘Christmas Reverse Advent Calendar’ instead – which involves putting one item a day into a hamper, and then donating it on December 1.
Labour Councillor for Flixton Ward, Shirley Procter, originally posted the Reverse Advent Calendar concept on Facebook – and the idea quickly gained considerable support.
The renewed focus on Christmas food listed in the calendar will also ensure Stretford Foodbank has enough supplies for its festive hampers – so that each of their clients receive an extra bag of Christmas treats in December.
Lesley Culf at Stretford Foodbank said: “This year we have been inundated with donations, and it got to a point where we actually moved premises, which are bigger than where we came from. We’ve only been here a week and it’s already too small, because we’ve had so any donations come in.
“It’s only because we have nowhere to put it, but in a few months’ time that will change.”
Councillor Procter has been heavily involved in community outreach programs in the area – even offering her home as a hub for food donations for the interim period before Christmas.
Local food banks have seen a recent upsurge in donations due to Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals over the holidays.
The Manchester United footballer was even spotted helping out at FareShare food bank alongside his mum back in October.
But Ms. Procter has said the government needs to do more to support local communities.
“Trafford Thrive were providing food parcels to those in need from the beginning of lockdown onwards, and the money to fund that didn’t come out of thin air,” said the councillor.
“There wasn’t a magic money tree for us to shake, we spent council money doing that and the government haven’t given us that money back.”
Collections for Stretford Foodbank at local supermarkets are still going ahead – and the charity says it can arrange collection appointments with anyone who’d still like to donate.
There’s also a huge variety of local food banks you can still donate to – all of which can be found online.
For more information about the work Stretford Foodbank is doing to keep the community well-fed – visit the official website.