Foodbank advent. CCGG2017 #13

Blogmas on the CancerCarerChats blog is a daily charitable Christmas gift guide with a twist - each post will feature an idea for a charitable act.  Christmas is a time for giving whether it be for someone you know or for a stranger.  Take the time at this time of the year to do a good deed, just one small act can help someone who is less fortunate than you are.  
As a reminder, my mum was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in March 2017 when I started this blog to raise awareness of the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer and my life as a carer.  I care for my mum, trying to ease some of the load on her and walk by her side on this journey.  It’s just as hard to watch someone you love go through pain, than to experience it yourself.

I don't think I'm alone here when I say that Christmas to me is about food.  I mean, bloody hell, there are songs about it.  "Christmas time...mistletoe and wine".  The turkey, the pigs in blankets, the chocolates and the truffles.  I love it all and the stuffing.  Oh, the stuffing.....  I would go as far as to say that I enjoy the food even more so than the presents.  To me, Christmas is about the food.  To others, Christmas is also about food but for the feelings of dread and despair that it may cause them.  As of right now, there are 65,000 homeless families in Britain without safe or long term accommodation.  Christmas to them is about food for a whole host of other reasons.  When there are so many of us who are excited and thrilled about the prospect of sitting down for the amazing Christmas dinner, there are those who are vulnerable or living in poverty and are struggling with the fact that they do not know where they will be living at Christmas, never mind what they will be eating on the day.  Whilst we look to pre-order the turkey at the butchers or plan the best day to shop for food in the run up to Christmas, the most they can probably look plan and look forward to is either a hot cooked meal at the local shelter or donations at the local food bank.  

If you've not participated in the foodbank advent thus far, it's not too late.  The foodbank advent starts in November and people are encouraged to put away a non-perishable item in a cardboard box every single day until the end of November.  This box is then donated to a vulerable family to ensure they have food during the December period.  With 12 days left till Christmas, it's not too late to put something aside every single day until Christmas day and then take it down to your local shelter as a lovely charitable gift.  

Examples of non-perishable items that are ideal for the box are available on the UK Money Bloggers website with some great ideas from people who have contributed.  Things like rice, pasta, tinned soups, beans and tomatoes are ideal.  Another great option would be for you to take the box into your office/ school or workplace and leave it in a corner of the room or your canteen for others to also contribute.  Your colleagues and friends contributions will help you make up for the missing days!

If this is a great idea to you but you don't think you have the time to do this every day then consider dropping an item from your trolley into the foodbank bins in your local supermarket.  A lot of supermarkets have bins either at the doors or somewhere after the checkout.  This is a convenient place for you to put an item from your trolley into the bin to be donated and requires little to no effort.

According to WRAPUK households throw away 4.2 million tonnes of avoidable household food and drink annually; the equivalent of six meals every week for the average UK household.  The foodbank advent is an ideal way to reduce waste by sharing food that you would not consume with those who require it.  This Christmas, share leftovers from your Christmas dinner with vulnerable people who might not have turkey, potatoes or stuffing of their own.

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
T – Toilet habit changes
E – Energy levels dropping
A – Abdominal pain/ swelling
L – Loss of appetite



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