Early Reverse Advent Calendar Food Bank Donations Suggestions

Lots of people very kindly do their reverse advent calendar in December (being an advent calendar and all!) but this means the donations get to the food banks in very late December / early January. This year we will be doing an early reverse advent calendar, starting on the 1st November. We will then deliver our donation on the 1st December so that the food banks can deliver their Christmas hampers before the big day. Here are some suggestions of things that you can donate to your local food bank.

All food should have a best before date of at least Jan 2021. Not all food banks can accept fresh food such as bread so it’s best to double check before including any. Nothing that contains alcohol please – that includes some mince pies, Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes and liqueur chocolates. Currently a lot of food banks have received a lot of sanitary products so they don’t need any of those (for now).

Storecupboard essentials

  • Tea / Coffee
  • UHT or powdered milk
  • Pasta, rice, lentils, beans and pulses
  • Pasta sauces
  • Cereals
  • Custard, rice pudding and tinned deserts
  • Jam, marmalade, peanut butter & spreads
  • Cooking oils
  • Condiments & spices
  • Biscuits, crackers
  • Granola and other snack bars
  • Tinned soups, stews & chili
  • Tinned meats & fish
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned or dried fruit
  • Long-life fruit juice
  • Vegetarian alternatives
  • Instant mash potatoes

Christmas treats

  • Chocolate (but not advent calendars as the parcels will go out after 1st December
  • Crackers & luxury biscuits
  • Luxury toiletries that might be given as stocking fillers
  • Nothing containing alcohol such as mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas puddings & some chocolates.
  • Not all food banks are able to distribute toys so please check before including any

Non-food items

Most food banks like to include non-food items in their parcels.


  • Toothpaste & toothpaste
  • Soap / hand-wash
  • Shampoo & condition (suitable for adults and/or children)
  • Shaving gel
  • Shower gel
  • Toilet roll
  • Razors

Cleaning products

  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing powder / liquid
  • Fabric conditioner
  • All purpose cleaner

Baby items

  • Nappies (particularly larger sizes)
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby food (not formula though)

If you’ve missed November don’t worry, food banks will welcome donations at any time of year. This is just a campaign to try and help them support as many families as possible in the run-up to Christmas.

Please contact your local food bank directly to check if there’s anything they’re particularly in need of and to arrange donation. 2020 has been a horrendous year for so many people and food banks are desperately needed more than ever. Every single donation helps. Thank you for your help.