Maarten Klem and Sandra Morgan of King’s Lynn Foodbank receive some festive treats from YLP managing director Alan Taylor, right. Picture: Matthew Usher

Your Local Paper has teamed-up with King’s Lynn Foodbank to spread some festive cheer this Christmas.

Together we are calling on businesses and individuals to help those less fortunate to enjoy  Christmas by donating some of the items most of us take for granted.

Christmas is the foodbank’s busiest time of the year and volunteers are currently handing out around 20 emergency food parcels each day.

The charity has seen a 20 per cent increase in demand this year.

Maarten Klem, foodbank co-ordinator, said: “People are forced to decide between paying rent, heating their home or buying food. Food is often the first thing that goes.”

Staff at YLP are asking our generous readers to drop off everyday food, toiletries and festive food items to our office at 29 King Street in Lynn, which the foodbank can then distribute to those in need.

This could include essentials like toilet roll, long life fruit juice, UHT or powdered milk, tinned meat, tinned fish and tinned vegetables, toiletries and festive treats like Christmas pudding, crisps, nuts, children’s sweets, stuffing, cranberry sauce, custard and Christmas crackers.

We’ve started the ball rolling by donating £50 worth of goods which will be added to food parcels given out in the run-up to Christmas.

YLP managing director Alan Taylor said: “It’s unimaginable that in 2017 people are struggling to afford essential items like toilet roll and shower gel.

“It’s also difficult for most of us to imagine Christmas without those little extra treats which make the  festive time so special.

“We’re delighted to be able to support the foodbank to help those less fortunate in our community.”

Items can be dropped off at the YLP office from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm up until Thursday, December 21.

The foodbank is hoping to purchase a van to help collect donations and would also welcome financial donations.

Cheques can be made out to King’s Lynn Foodbank, or made via their website

The foodbank is based at The Red Cross headquarters at Austin Fields. Its volunteers distribute three-day emergency food parcels to people who have been given a voucher from one of 120  local organisations, including schools, doctors’ surgeries, social services and housing associations.

Sandra Morgan, foodbank volunteer, said: “We see everyone across the board. There can be so many reasons why people can’t afford to buy food. We see lots of parents who have missed numerous meals so their children can eat.

“We see people who have had successful businesses but have gone bankrupt overnight, their funds are frozen and they have nowhere to go.

“Lots of people don’t understand how necessary the foodbank is.”

The foodbank will be holding special collections at Tesco stores in Gaywood and  at Hardwick today and tomorrow (Saturday) where they will be asking shoppers to add a few extra items to their trolleys to donate to the charity.