Reverse Advent calendar – a great new Christmas tradition

By: Melinda Yates

I can’t believe how quickly Christmas has come around again. I’m pretty sure I say that every year to be honest, but every year, I’m still surprised!

I’ve always loved an advent calendar, but when I heard about the ‘Reverse Advent Calendar’ a couple of years ago, it became my favourite by far. The concept is that each day from the 1st until the 24th of December, you place an item in a box that you then donate to a food bank over this period of celebration and giving. It’s a simple idea that has a huge, positive impact on so many people, so I urge all of you to give it a go.


The reason I say give it a go, is because if you’re anything like me, sticking to something consistently for 24 days can sometimes be a bit of a challenge! So, I’m kind of changing the rules of this calendar to make sure as many people donate as much as they can this year.

My suggestion for the Reverse advent calendar is do it to the best of your ability. If you can only do it for a week, that’s still 7 items donated to people who need it, as opposed to none at all if you become overwhelmed trying to do this for 24 days, and end up giving nothing. If 7 days doesn’t work, do it every day you remember.  If you’ve got children however, they love having a fun daily task, so you could assign it to them to look after.

If you can’t afford to buy things specifically to donate, go through your kitchen cupboard. A tin of tomatoes, a packet of pasta, anything that you can replace easily or have had sitting there for some time without using, make great donations. Most of us have much more than we need in any given moment in our food storage at home and it feels great to have a bit of a clear out and find things that you can give to others.

To make sure I do something, I’ve given myself guidelines that I know I can stick to. I’m going to collect 14 items in the first 2 weeks of December to put into the food bank donation box we have here at Infinity Foods. I’m going to do a combination of going through my cupboard, as well as spending £10 on a few treats to come up with my 14 items. Anything you can offer, no matter how small or big, can really help others out. Come up with a plan that works for you, so that you can find it easy to enjoy the feeling of giving.


At Infinity Foods, we have collection point at the main entrance to our store, so if you’re coming in over December to do some of your Christmas shopping, you could drop off some donations then. Your donations give people in crisis, emergency food packages when they need it the most. The Trussel Trust does amazing work providing those who are struggling, with support and hope. You can check out their website to read more about what they do, as well as find other locations you can drop off supplies if you aren’t near us.

Items recommended for donation are long life juice, soup, pasta sauces, tinned pudding, tinned vegetables, cereals, tea bags, instant coffee, jam, biscuits, snacks and free-from items. As we are a vegetarian shop, we please ask that you only donate vegetarian items within our store. We really want to make Christmas feel special for as many people as possible, so if you can donate anything at all, it really will make a difference.

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