Hundreds of boxes of festive food have been donated to Durham Foodbank, thanks to the generosity of Durham County Council staff.
Over the last few weeks, council employees have been bringing items to work that the foodbank will use to create special Christmas hampers.
In the last week alone, around 140 selection boxes have been donated by the highways and planning teams.
Pamela Glaister is a senior enforcement officer at the council, who has helped with the collection for a number of years.
Pamela said, “Children are the innocent ones and simple selection boxes are something we take for granted at Christmas, but are not always a necessity for families in need.”
“It seemed a simple task to donate them to the children to help bring a smile to their faces and some normality to their Christmas Day.”
“We also want to say a special thank you to Wilko’s in the Arnison Centre for providing us with a special discount, meaning we could buy even more selection boxes for the children.”
Cllr Jane Brown, cabinet member for social inclusion, presented the selection boxes to Peter MacLellan, the CEO of Durham Christian Partnership, which runs Durham Foodbank.
Cllr Brown said, “Christmas is a time for celebration, but not everyone can enjoy the kinds of things we take for granted.”
“I haven’t heard of any other local authorities in the north east doing this – it’s a great thing to do and buying an extra item when we do our shopping isn’t a huge burden for most people.”
“We are delighted to be able to give these boxes to the foodbank to help make Christmas a little bit brighter for those who might be having a difficult time.”
Peter MacLellan said, “December is a difficult time for the foodbank and we know a lot of families struggle throughout the month.”
“These hampers can make a real difference to people over the festive period and we are extremely grateful to staff at Durham County Council for their generous donation.”
Other donations have come from the council’s primary school meals supplier Taylor Shaw – who provided 40 tins of chocolates, teabags and coffee – and from food supplier Batleys, who contributed 240 tins of rice pudding and cartons of orange juice.
Durham County Council will continue collecting food until January 19th 2018, when any remaining items will be passed over to Durham Foodbank.
(The featured image shows planning assistant Michelle Hurton with Pamela Glaister, Cllr Brown and Peter MacLellan)