EAST Lothian Foodbank is appealing for donations for its Christmas Jingle Bags.

Jingle Bags, given out by the foodbank throughout December, contain everything needed to make a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, and some chocolate too.

Items include tinned chicken or turkey, tinned potatoes and carrots, gravy packets, mince pies and Christmas puddings.

Last year the charity gave out 364 Jingle Bags in December along with 354 three-day emergency food parcels.

This fed 618 people, 44 per cent of whom were under the age of 16.

The foodbank will distribute Jingle Bags to those collecting food parcels close to Christmas and it will also supply bags to other community groups supporting people in the run-up to the holidays.

Peter Dicker, foodbank manager, said: “At this time of year, everyone deserves to have a Christmas dinner. Near Christmas, people who come into the foodbank are given a Jingle Bag along with their food parcel and we tell them to save it for their Christmas dinner so that they know they’ve got something.

“This is a highly successful project and it is now in its third year.

“We urge people to have a look at the ingredients that go into these bags and donate. It will make a huge difference to people’s Christmas.

"The full list can be found on our website.

“We have permanent collection points in all of the Tesco stores in East Lothian but we also have three special collection days coming up in the Haddington, Musselburgh and North Berwick stores.”

From November 21 to 23, the foodbank will receive all of the food donated by Tesco shoppers on each of the days and 20 per cent of the money made from the sale of the donated food will also be given to the foodbank to go towards running costs.

Food can also be donated directly to the foodbank, which is open 10am-2pm Monday to Friday at 3 Civic Square in Tranent.

Most local churches and libraries also have donation boxes.

As Jingle Bags will start to be given out from December 9 at the latest, all items must be non-perishable.

The foodbank needs to be able to give out the bags throughout December without the fear of the contents ‘going off’.

East Lothian Foodbank is also seeking a foodbank director to take the local charity to a new level of service and provision. The job advert can be found on Indeed, Goodmoves or on social media; email secretary@eastlothian.foodbank.org.uk for more information.