A husband and wife duo who were inspired by the plight of the less fortunate will be supporting this year's Feed Our Families campaign and are calling on "those that can afford to help, to get involved and make a difference".
Although they have never been involved before, Sarah Powlson, 56, was moved when she saw a front page detailing the aim of the appeal and has decided to use her position in Draycott village, where she has run Draycott-in-the-Clay Stores for the past five years, to spread the message and do some good.
The mother of two said: "This is the first time we have supported the campaign but we always make an effort to support community events and after seeing the front page on the launch of the campaign we thought this would be a good one to support.
"We have been asked by a couple of people about where they can donate and we thought 'let's just do it ourselves and we can act as a collection point'.
"Part of wanting to run the village shop was to embed ourselves within the community and try to make a difference. We have lovely, very generous customers and I do hope they think of us as part of the community."
Sarah, and co-owner husband Nigel, 54, also have four members of staff who work from 5.30am every day to open the doors of the store.
Sarah said: "Feeding people who can't feed themselves at any time of year is important but it is particularly horrible to think of people going without at Christmas.
"Campaigns like this seem to be more and more important each year with more families needing help. Those that can afford to should help any way they can.
"We are lucky enough to have a lot of regulars and passing trade and we will be making sure that as many people as possible know that they can donate here."
Feed Our Families, which aims to feed people in Burton and South Derbyshire who are struggling during the Christmas period, will run until December 15.
This year donations will be distributed between four vital causes which work tirelessly to support those in society who need a helping hand.
These are Burton YMCA and South Derbyshire Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), as well as Burton’s Salvation Army and The Eaton Foundation, which is also based in the town.
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.
Draycott-in-the-Clay Stores will be open for donations from 5.30am until 6pm Monday to Friday, 5.30am until 1pm on Saturday and 5.30am until noon on Sunday.
What can I donate to Feed Our Families?
For those of you who have made the generous decision to give something to those who are less fortunte 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)
- 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
- Baked beans
- Spaghetti hoops
- Pasta sauce
- Savoury rice
- Pot Noodles
- Rice pudding
- Cereal bars
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.
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.
Astle Paterson is backing the campaign, as are schools including Paulet and Pingle Academy.
You can help the campaign by donating yourself or setting up a collection point at your youth club or in the pub. If you want to get involved contact reporter Rhea Turner on 01283 245047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
And over the next few weeks we will bringing you stories of everyone who donates.