Christmas wish list with a difference launched to help families in need

Written by Peter Davison.

Hazel Jennings and Christopher Sloane of Devizes Food Bank with Claire Perry MP centre collecting at Waitrose in December 2012Hazel Jennings and Christopher Sloane of Devizes Food Bank with Claire Perry MP centre collecting at Waitrose in December 2012A Christmas wish list with a difference has been published by Waitrose, and the supermarket is hoping that Marlborough shoppers will tick off items to make Christmas better for the poorest in our community.

Waitrose has teamed up with the Trussell Trust, the Salisbury-based organisation behind the Food Bank scheme, to devise a list of foodstuffs that will make a real difference to the neediest families in the area.

The list includes UHT milk, tinned veg and ham, Christmas pudding and mince pies, along with luxuries like chocolate bars and biscuits that our poorest neighbours might otherwise struggle to afford, or to justify from limited budgets.

The initiative follows the success of collections held in Waitrose stores last year, which saw over 130 tonnes of food donated by Waitrose customers alone - enough to make over 260,000 meals.

The donations will then be collected by local food banks and distributed to those in the community who need them most. As well as essentials, the list will feature items that many of us may take for granted at this time of year, such as children’s selection boxes, Christmas crackers and mince pies, to make a huge difference to the experiences of vulnerable people this Christmas.

Waitrose is also extending its relationship with the Trussell Trust further by rolling out permanent food donation points in all of its supermarkets, in order to support more families in need across the UK, throughout all times of the year.

The new initiative will help provide local food banks with a steady and manageable supply of both food and non-food items all year round.

Nicola Evans, branch manager of Waitrose Marlborough said: “Our food banks do an incredible job helping those who need it most. We’re delighted to be working with the Trussell Trust to help our customers support food banks throughout the year and particularly at this time of year.

“If you know of a local cause in need of help, please do get in touch with us to see how we can help.”

Helen Franks, corporate partnership manager for the Trussell Trust said: “It is a privilege to work for such an inspiring organisation and I am particularly delighted that Waitrose is helping us change the lives of so many people by establishing permanent collection points in all of its supermarkets.

“Thank you Waitrose for all your support and helping us combat poverty and hunger in the UK.”