Reverse Advent Calendar

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Times were already tough for a lot of people in the UK. However, the financial ramifications of Coronavirus mean that many more have been pushed below the poverty line.

I knew this already, but last night I saw a report on the BBC, which was truly shocking. It brought home just how bad it really is for a lot of people.

Burnley: ‘Children ripping bags open for food’ during pandemic


I’d just put up our family advent calendars. Alongside our old favourites and traditional ones the church had given us, I’d bought my children new, totally frivolous (and quite expensive) ones. I was so excited about seeing their faces the next morning as I knew they’d love them. I suddenly felt a pang of guilt though.

The concept of the reverse advent calendar

I remembered reading somewhere a while ago about the reverse advent calendar. I decided we’d do it this year.

With the reverse advent calendar, instead of taking something out every day – as you do with a normal advent calendar – you actually add something. You collect one item daily during advent either from your cupboards or bought especially and put it into a box. By December 24th you will have collected together 24 essential items, which you can donate to a food bank or other charity project.

What should go into a reverse advent calendar?

Do check with your local food bank to see what specific items they are most in need of. However, in general these are the sorts of things that are very gratefully received. Don’t forget that food banks also accept other essentials such as toiletries and hygiene items.

Food items for the reverse advent calendar

* Make sure items are well within their use by date

  • Porridge
  • Cereal
  • Soup (tinned or packet not fresh)
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Tinned fish (tuna, sardines etc)
  • Lentils, beans and pulses
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned meat
  • Tea/coffee/hot chocolate
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits
  • Long life milk
  • Fruit juice
  • Tinned dessert such as rice pudding
  • Something festive

Non-food items

  • Toiletries – things such as deodorant, soap, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving foam, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste and hand sanitiser
  • Laundry/household items – liquid detergent, laundry powder, washing up liquid
  • Sanitary towels and tampons
  • Baby supplies such as nappies, baby wipes and baby food

Whilst a nicely, festively decorated box is a bonus, the main thing is the contents.

Finding your local food bank

Use this link from The Trussell Trust (the UK’s biggest network of food banks) to find your nearest food bank: https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/


Reverse advent calendar

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About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.

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