What is a reverse Advent calendar?
With a standard Advent calendar you open a window or door each day during the first 24 days of December.
A reverse Advent calendar is different in two very important ways. First, it switches it so that rather than taking something each day, you put something in.
Secondly, We plan to use these boxes in January as it’s our toughest month of the calendar year.
How to take part
It’s really easy and anyone can do it!
At it’s most basic, you just find a box or two and add your 24 items to it throughout the month.
If you want to help more, it’s great to tell friends, family and colleagues you’re taking part.
The next level is to share your progress on social media (do use the hashtag #FoodbankAdvent).
Why put something in each day?
The Foodbank reverse advent campaign isn’t just about encouraging people to donate food to their local foodbank.
It’s also about raising awareness. First about food poverty, and second about how to help.
If you are sharing your progress each day throughout the month (on social media or just with friends), it helps keep the campaign in people’s minds – and hopefully encourages more people to join in.
Plus, it keeps the cause fresh in your own mind each day, rather than just a one-off gesture.
Practically, it’s probably easiest to buy items in one go or once a week rather than going to the shop every day – especially since the new lockdown measures encourage us to stay home more. But that shouldn’t stop you from following the reverse advent system.
We have put the times on the calendar as these are what are most commonly used meaning we’re always running out. We will post regular stock updates of what we need but we can assure you that we have a Foodbank backup unit that is full to the brim of Baked beans, Tinned tomatoes, Soup and pasta, so please consider the items that we have suggested.
You might want to add in a few equivalents for those with dietary requirements – just remember it needs a really good use by date.
Whilst we’re eternally grateful for everything that we receive, we can’t accept any home-made or half-open items and please remember our food parcels are planned around what meals are going to be eaten each day so we think twice before adding any unusual items such as olives or pickled beetroot!
You might want to include one or two festive items, but some of the food you donate might not be handed out until January.
Click here to see our full reverse advent calendar items: