A company which set up shop in Burton last month has been inspired to take part in the Burton Mail’s Feed Our Families campaign for the very first time after calling the need in the town "heart-breaking."

Phil Clulow is the operations director of the Malone Group, an engineering and safety project delivery company, which opened a site on the Centrum 100 Business Park last month.

He said his team feels like it has a "part to play in supporting the wider community" in which it lives and works and they are delighted to be throwing their weight behind the vital campaign this year.

He said: "We only moved to our Burton offices on November 27 but it is not the first time that we have supported this type of appeal or charity endeavours.

"Our Irish colleagues are supporting a similar campaign in Dublin at the moment and we have a tradition of supporting the communities where we work and try to do something extra at this time of the year to support those less fortunate at Christmas.

"We opened the Burton Mail and spotted the appeal and we knew straight away that this was the type of campaign that both Malone Group and staff could get behind. We are asking all of our staff to donate non-perishable items so that we can donate a hamper of goods.

"Our staff are people who are impacted by various things in their lives and want to help make a difference and where possible we want to support them in that.

"It is sad to think that there are people who have a daily struggle to put food on the table and when this is happening to people at Christmas it is simply heartbreaking to think about.

"Christmas is about giving as well as receiving and I think that any support no matter how small can have a huge impact on the lives of those that need it particularly at this time of year.

"It is a good cause, it will impact locally and it is so simple to get involved. Asking staff to put one or two extra items in their shopping trolley and bringing it with them to work is easy but will have a huge effect on those at the receiving end."

Feed Our Families is a campaign run by the Burton Mail to help local food banks feed families in Burton and South Derbyshire who may have fallen on hard times in the run-up to the festive period.

The campaign, which is in its fourth year, will be sharing all items donated between the South Derbyshire CVS, The Eaton Foundation, The Salvation Army in Burton and Burton's branch of the YMCA.

Last year was the most successful campaign ever, with a record 15,000 food items feeding around 1,000 families over Christmas, thanks to Burton Mail readers.

This year it is more important than ever as food banks in Burton and South Derbyshire are being used more than ever before.

What can I donate to Feed Our Families?

For those of you who have made the generous decision to give something to the needy this Christmas, you may be a bit unsure of just what the food banks are after to get the most out of the foods. Therefore we have produced a list of non-perishable items that will be gratefully received.

Items which you can donate:

  • UHT milk (500ml or 1 litre cartons or screw top bottles)
  • Coffee
  • Teabags
  • Sugar
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Tinned meals
  • Tinned meat for Irish stew, chilli con carne, spaghetti bolognese, ravioli, macaroni cheese
  • Tinned hot dogs
  • Minced beef, curry, meatballs, etc
  • Tinned pies
  • Corned beef
  • Tinned or packet vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned tuna, salmon, sardines, etc
  • Soup
  • Baked beans
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti hoops
  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Rice
  • Savoury rice
  • Noodles
  • Pot Noodles
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Biscuits
  • Cereal bars
  • Crackers
  • Crisps
  • Chocolate
  • Jam

How can you donate to Feed Our Families?

For many people Christmas is a happy time, but for some it can be anything but.

A few pounds could be the difference between a family in need eating or going hungry. Just 50p could buy a tin of soup, and help keep a child warm. So where can you donate? We are appealing for people to pop one extra tin in their weekly shop and donate that. Of course, if you can afford more that would be brilliant.

There will be drop-off points at Burton in Sainsbury's, in Union Street, and Sainsbury's, in Civic Way, Swadlincote, with many more businesses soon expected to get involved.

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If you are a pupil at a local school, check if there is a donation point there and if not, ask your teachers to get your school involved.

Punch Taverns is backing the campaign, as are schools including Granville Academy and Paulet High School.

We want you, our generous readers, to also donate, whether that be setting up a collection point at your youth club or in the pub. If you want to get involved, please contact reporter Rhea Turner on 01283 245047 or email rhea.turner@burtonmail.co.uk

And over the next few weeks we will bringing you stories of everyone who donates.