Bury St Edmunds charity’s shopping list to help feed those in need at Christmas

Ixworth Primary School's Harvest collection for Gatehouse - pupils donated more than 200 tins of food ANL-141211-085612001
Ixworth Primary School's Harvest collection for Gatehouse - pupils donated more than 200 tins of food ANL-141211-085612001
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1,640 tins of baked beans, 420 packets of biscuits, 700 Christmas crackers, 350 Christmas puddings.

These are the items on a shopping list by Bury St Edmunds charity Gatehouse to create 300 Christmas hampers for those in need this festive season.

The organisation is also appealing for volunteers to help out at its annual Christmas Day lunch at St Benedict’s Catholic School.

The event, open to all ages, usually caters for between 80 to 100 people with a full Christmas lunch and small gift while transport is available but places for the lunch need to be booked in advance.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive at Gatehouse, said: “We’re being asked for more hampers this year than ever before and being able to run the lunch means those people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day are able to come to us for fun, food and company.”

The charity, which also runs a foodbank, was given a welcome boost recently after receiving about 1,200 kilos of food from harvest collections from various schools and organisations. It is enough to feed an estimated 160 local families for three days.

Mrs Bloomfield said they have given out about 480 food parcels in the last six months. She added: “The demand for everyday hampers has come to a level now. We’ve not seen any particular increase. However, we’ve seen an increase in people who are in work but on a lower income having to use the foodbank.” A food collection will be held at Waitrose on Nov 27 and 28. Call Gatehouse on 01284 754967.