reverse advent calendar

#FoodBankAdvent-The Reverse Advent Calendar

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Last year, the UK Money Bloggers (UKMB) community joined together to run #FoodBankAdvent.  They encouraged their readers to come together and complete a reverse advent calendar.


With many families expected to turn to the foodbank for support in the festive period, we are once again coming together with The Trussell Trust to support this campaign.

reverse advent calendar

What is a reverse advent calendar?

I’m sure that we are all familiar with the standard advent calendar set up.  The 1st December rolls around and we open a little door/box/stocking and inside is some sort of treat.  It is a nice way to build the excitement for Christmas.


Imagine this the opposite way round.  Instead of taking and consuming the food yourself, you give some to someone else.  And that is the basic idea.  Everyday you collect an item that is needed and donate it to your local foodbank.


Get your donations in early

In order for this to truly be useful to your foodbank you need to start early.  Like now!  They do not want to receive large amounts of donations on Christmas Eve because the donations are needed before then.  Donations are needed all the time!


We, at UKMB, are encouraging you to start your reverse advent calendar in November.  Get a box.  Get the kids to decorate it.  Write Reverse Advent Calendar on it and place one item in there each day throughout November.


This way you will have a box full of essential food ready for donation at the start of December.  And you can drop it off knowing that it will be going to a family who will appreciate it.


It’s not all about Christmas

Yes, Christmas pudding and shortbread are delicious!  But they are not a sustainable food source.  I know from experience that if I start with the Christmas food too early that I’m feeling bored and sluggish before the big day even rolls around.


Plus, this is not the food that your foodbank needs.  Healthy food is vital.  But there is also a need for easy to make convenience foods, as some people do not have access to a full range of cooking equipment.  Think about everyday staples that are nutritious and fulfilling and make those your priority.


Speak to your local foodbank

Each foodbank will have differing needs.  Some may be in desperate need of men’s toiletries or tinned fruit.  And check that this is up to date.  They may have just had a large donation of a previously sought-after item.


They will also be able to give you advice on how best to make your donation.  Most foodbanks have various systems for collecting supplies and will be able to tell you where your local donation point is.


My personal focus

For me, I am going to add specialist foods to my reverse advent calendar.  As someone with coeliac disease, lactose intolerance and IBS that responds well to a low FODMAP diet I know that these products are vital to my remaining healthy.  And that they are expensive.


My local foodbank recently put out a request for these foods, so I know that they are required.  It makes me sad to think that people may be getting ill because they are unable to afford the foods that would keep them healthy.  I want my local foodbank to feel confident that they can offer these products as regularly as they could any other food.


What do you need to do?

  1. Get a box ready
  2. Contact your local foodbank and find out what they need
  3. Start adding one item from that list every day in November
  4. Donate the full box at the start of December


You will be able to follow my progress with the reverse advent calendar through my social media channels.  I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Please join me there to share your photos and experiences.


Remember that you can start any time.  They always need donations.  And anything you can do will be appreciated.  Thank you!

Posted by Charlotte Jessop


This is such a great reminder and motivational! What you’re doing for your community is beautiful. I told my family about your post and we’re going to reach out to our local food bank this week. Thank you for sharing!

Mom Life Optimized

Oh how I love love love this idea!! Never heard of it, but looking forward to incorporating this into our Christmas traditions!

I love this idea! It is so important to be generous, and this is a great way to get started ❤️

That’s a very well-thought way of donating! Often people want to help, but may end up giving things of less importance. It’s ideal to find out what’s needed proactively and also donate all year round.


I love this idea so much! The perfect way to give during the holidays I need to add this to my holiday bucket list for sure!

This is such a fabulous concept. I wish we had something like this in my community because I would love to donate. It’s so nice to see people spreading much needed empathy, especially during the holidays.

Fiorella Madsen (@lacasadefreja)

I love this idea! That’s the real meaning of Christmas

I love that you start this in November and donate it at the beginning of December. What a nice idea!

That is such a beautiful gesture! Definitely inspiring. We used to do it with my family back in Poland!

No Compass Necessary

What a great way to give! That is awful, I have celiac as well and I can’t believe that I didn’t think of how many people are out there having to eat processed foods that make them sick because a lot of gluten-free foods can be so expensive.

Charlotte Jessop

I know! Those foods are literally our medicine and some people don’t have access to them because they are so expensive.

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