EAST Lothian Foodbank has launched its Jingle Bags appeal and is hoping to bring Christmas dinner and festive joy to families across the county, many of whom have been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The annual appeal first launched in 2017 and gathers festive food items that are put into bags and given out to those in need to allow them to enjoy a Christmas dinner.

More than 1,000 bags have been given out since the appeal first launched.

A spokesperson for the foodbank said: “We know not everyone looks forward to Christmas and it can be a particularly hard time of year for those who are struggling to feed themselves and their families, and this year brings its own unique set of challenges.

“We realise things are different this year and it is a big ask at a time when so many people are struggling but we’re determined to do all we can to support those in our community who need us and we’d like to fill our jingle bags again.

“So we’re asking for your help again please.

“Our Jingle Bags contain everything needed to celebrate Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.

“Everyone who is referred for a food parcel in the run-up to Christmas will receive a Jingle Bag in addition to their standard three-day emergency food parcel.

“If you’re able to give any of the items on the list we’d be very grateful.”

The foodbank, which is based in Tranent, has put together a shopping list containing all of the items it thinks make a great Christmas dinner. They are:

  • Tinned chicken or turkey;
  • Potatoes (tinned or packet mash);
  • Tinned vegetables such as carrots, sweetcorn and peas;
  • Packet gravy;
  • Packet bread sauce;
  • Stuffing (packet or box);
  • Christmas pudding;
  • Custard;
  • Mince pies;
  • Biscuits;
  • Chocolates/selection pack;
  • Christmas savoury snacks.

Bags will start being given out from December 1, so any food donated must be non-perishable.

Items can be dropped off at one of the foodbank donation points (see eastlothian.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food) or to the foodbank on Civic Square directly.