Help feed families in need with this year’s Wakefield Christmas Hamper Appeal

Your Wakefield Express is asking readers to help feed families in need across the district again this Christmas.

Over the last six years, you have been helping to bring cheer to thousands of children by donating food and hampers to the annual initiative.

And now the time has come for us to launch the 2021 appeal, with the aim of collecting 800 hampers. We need your help more than ever this year, as people struggle to cope with the end of furlough, rising bills, the end of the Universal Credit uplift, and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The appeal - organised by the Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry, the Community Awareness Programme (CAP) and the Children First Organisation in association with the Wakefield Express - is aiming to collect all the food and hampers needed before November 19 to be distributed during the week of November 22.

This gives us time to get vital food into the hands of those who need it most – the children and families in our area. The hampers will be distributed across the Wakefield district - including Pontefract, Castleford, Hemsworth and South Elmsall - by the Children First Organisation.

The appeal has been supported in the past by individual readers, clubs and organisations as well as companies who have all pulled together to make it happen. While last year was a difficult year with the pandemic in full swing we still managed to get hampers to around 600 families. With some restrictions still in place, 2021 will once again be very challenging for the organisers yet the number of families who need this help is larger than ever.

Bob Guard, one of the Chantry Rotary Club organisers, said: “Once again this year will be a challenge, however we are determined that it will happen and be successful as it has always been in the past. We need to collect and store the food differently this year and are grateful to Mark Jeffries from Camel Concrete for the offer to use his factory to store and pack the food. Kevin Dobson at CAP will handle the financing and food collection, but because of space limitations and the need for social distancing, will have to move the food out on a regular basis to the storage and packing facility now being set up.”

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Ideally, we need those readers who are able, to donate complete hampers - containing the items listed below - packed in a box rather than in carrier bags.

Financial contributions to help buy additional food are also needed – like most charities, CAP and the Rotary Club have seen a significant fall in donations during the pandemic so money is tight and more is needed if we are to succeed again this year.

In order to be able to complete the appeal in good time for Christmas we need your help and donations as soon as possible.

Kevin Dobson, the Manager at the CAP Centre in Market Street, will be very happy to receive complete hamper donations as well as any individual items and financial donations. Just call in or contact him on 01924 381119.

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Finished hampers should consist of the basics of tea or coffee, sugar, long-life milk, breakfast cereal, chocolate biscuits, tinned potatoes or instant mash, tinned vegetables, stuffing, tinned fruit, instant whip, fruit juice, and chocolate or sweets. Suggested extras could include tinned meat, pasta, rice, meat paste, jam or marmalade, gravy mix, cup-a-soups, pasta in sauce, long life mince pies, long life Christmas puddings and Christmas crackers. Please do not include fresh food, chilled food or alcohol.

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