Christmas Hamper Appeal 2020

Christmas is just two over two months away - and that means it's time to launch the Wakefield Express-backed Christmas Hamper Appeal 2020.

For the last five years the Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry, together with the Community Awareness Programme (CAP), have organised the appeal, with the help of both the Wakefield

Express and the Children First Organisation.

Thousands of hampers have been donated, packed and distributed to help needy and underprivileged families and pensioners in Wakefield and surrounding areas.

Wakefield Express readers, companies and charities have all made the appeal very successful, year after year.

This year, with the coronavirus pandemic still in full swing, things are going to be difficult. The need for social distancing in the packing and distribution, collection and storage of food and donated hampers and the limited facilities of the Children First Organisation will all make 2020 very trying.

It was thought that organisers would have to cancel the appeal, but after a lot of forward planning, this year's initiative will go ahead, although in a more limited way than in previous years, so that we can continue to help those in most need in our society.

The rotary club's Bob Guard, who is one of the organisers, said: “This year will be very difficult, but we are determined to make it happen. 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.”

We need the help of everyone to make this happen. So, what can you do?

Ideally, we need those readers who are able, to donate complete hampers as far as possible and packed in a box rather than in carrier bags. Financial contributions to help buy 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. Packing and collection of finished hampers needs to be completed before the end of November to allow the Children First Organisation to get them to the families who need them.

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

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, chocolate or sweets. Suggested extras can include tinned meat, pasta, rice, soup, pasta in sauce, gravy, jam or marmalade, instant noodles or meat paste. Please do not include fresh food, chilled food or alcohol.

Remember, with your help we can make 2020 another successful Christmas Hamper Appeal year – so please give us all the help you can.