Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Gift of Giving

This evening my boyfriend and I will sit down to eat a home-cooked meal. Later, we’ll settle in a warm lounge – full and satisfied.

I am guilty of taking food and warmth for granted, of not remembering that many are left to go without.

In our own seaside town, our community struggles as many families are forced to choose between feeding themselves or heating their homes – no one should have to make this choice.

It was recently published that in Blackpool alone 9,000 children are living below the poverty line – a statistic that I find shocking, saddening and truly disgusting.

I could use this post to accuse, to criticise the coalition government, to blame those that have allowed this all to happen, but I will do none of these things. Because a post which merely points fingers will not place food in the cupboards or nourish a hungry family. Because I’d like to make a difference to those living and struggling within my community. Because I don’t want to turn a blind eye. Because I believe that we are better than those that try to control us. Because our humanity and generosity has the ability to place a lighted candle in even the darkest of rooms.

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Within a modern and materialistic world, the true meaning of Christmas is often lost beneath piles of expensive gifts and lavish food. TV advertisements convince us that the perfect Christmas is only achieved through the act of spending, when in fact, all you need for a perfect Christmas is love (which costs nothing).

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.”
Albert Einstein

This Christmas I want to give a meal rather than receive a gift, I’d  like to give something back to my community, to help those less fortunate than I am – and I hope you’ll join me...

The Blackpool Dead Good Poets will be supporting the fantastic work of Blackpool Food Bank (please take the time to ‘Like’ their Facebook page). Since January, they have been working with other front-line agencies, such as Sure Start Children’s Centres across Blackpool and Citizens Advice Bureau who are able to assess each individual case and distribute the Food Bank’s emergency food parcels.

On average, Blackpool Food Bank give out between 15-25 of these parcels per week (each one supplies a family of four for three days).

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Our idea is simple: as a group, we will collect non-perishable food, which can then be delivered to the Food Bank on behalf of the DGPS.

I am not asking you, dear reader, to spend what you can’t afford, but I am asking if you could search your kitchen cupboards for a forgotten tin, or maybe add an extra bag of pasta to your shopping trolley.
I am also asking you to spread the word about our collection, as well as the hard work undertaken by Blackpool Food Bank.

How and Where?
If you would like to donate non-perishable food, then you can take your donations to the No. 5 Cafe, Cedar SquareBlackpool (near the Winter Gardens and opposite St. John’s Church) from today until Saturday 15th  December. Alternatively, if you are unable to get into town but have food you’d like to donate then I might be able to collect – please contact me via Facebook for further discussion.

What food is needed most?
I’m sure all non-perishable food would be grateful received, but the Food Bank has a list of items that they need more urgently. So, if you are planning on adding something to your trolley, please check the list below to find which items would be of most use.
Longlife Milk (UHT)
Tinned Meat
Tinned Vegetables
Tinned Puddings
Tinned Fish
Diluting Squash (1ltr maximum)
Tinned Pies
Pasta Sauces

All that is left for me to say is thank you for taking the time to read this post, and to wish you all a very perfect Christmas.


As individual’s we may just give a little, but as group let’s hope we can give a lot.


Anonymous said...

Good for you. I will donate.

Louise Barklam said...

I'm right with you Lara. Thanks for this post, parcel being put together now. :-)

Louise Barklam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley R Lister said...

I'm genuinely moved. I'll see if I can add something to our shopping cart.


vicky ellis said...


Good work Lara x

Lisa McFleeca said...

Brilliant idea, will pop by tomorrow!

Lisa x

Christo Heyworth said...

Thanks for this reminder, Lara - as usual my £25 will go to The Salvation Army, the Love In Practice people.

Sheilagh said...

Thanks for organising this for us, Lara. Will take some stuff to the No. 5 on Saturday. xx

Blackpool Food Bank said...

Thank you so much for your fantastic post about our cause we are so grateful that you have chosen to take the time to write about what we are doing in Blackpool.

We'd also like to say a massive thank you to everyone who would like to get involved and donate. Every single donation directly helps to feed families and individuals who find themselves in a time of crisis.

A big thank you from everyone at Blackpool Food Bank.

Find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Mat said...

Excellent article, good to see people getting involved

Lara Clayton said...

Thank you all for your positive comments, support and generosity - it greatly appreciated :)


Christo Heyworth said...

A forage in the cupboards has released a bagful of stuff which I'll deliver to the No.5 later today.

Allyson England said...

A huge thank you to you all. As co-ordinator of the Blackpool Food Bank, I am often able to see at first hand how much the food parcels we supply mean to people. Only today, a desperate phone call from one agency resulted in a food parcel being delivered to a mum who was in a terrible crisis. The parcels can make a huge difference to people in need. Thank you all once again

Adele said...

Count me in Lara,