Charities in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket hand out hampers to those in need

Mark Westley Photography'Gatehouse is organising its annual Christmas hamper give-away - they're expecting to have around 360 hampers this year. 'Also organising its annual Christmas lunch at St Benedict's Catholic School.'Amanda Bloomfield CEO with Lynn. ANL-141217-195706009
Mark Westley Photography'Gatehouse is organising its annual Christmas hamper give-away - they're expecting to have around 360 hampers this year. 'Also organising its annual Christmas lunch at St Benedict's Catholic School.'Amanda Bloomfield CEO with Lynn. ANL-141217-195706009
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Gatehouse in Bury St Edmunds is giving away a hoard of hampers - around 360 of them in total.

Stowmarket, Suffolk. Food Bank is handing out 100 Christmas hampers to those in need in Stowmarket, pictured from left Melissa Williams, Hayley Earley, Audrey Brewster, Mike Smith, Gerard Butler, Logan Huntingford, Rachael Huntingford and Heather Yetton ANL-141214-204633009

Stowmarket, Suffolk. Food Bank is handing out 100 Christmas hampers to those in need in Stowmarket, pictured from left Melissa Williams, Hayley Earley, Audrey Brewster, Mike Smith, Gerard Butler, Logan Huntingford, Rachael Huntingford and Heather Yetton ANL-141214-204633009

Chief executive Amanda Bloomfield said: “We give them out to families through referrals from agencies like Sure Start, midwife teams and mental health teams.

“We only have around 60 hampers left, so if anybody is in need of one they need to get their name down quickly.

“The hampers are filled with all the usual items plus some festive treats like Christmas puddings, chocolate, sweets, and crackers.

“All donations which don’t get used will go to the food bank - we find January is one of our busiest months.”

Mark Westley Photography'Gatehouse is organising its annual Christmas hamper give-away - they're expecting to have around 360 hampers this year. ''Also organising its annual Christmas lunch at St Benedict's Catholic School.'Amanda Bloomfield CEO with Margie get peeling sprouts ANL-141217-195726009

Mark Westley Photography'Gatehouse is organising its annual Christmas hamper give-away - they're expecting to have around 360 hampers this year. ''Also organising its annual Christmas lunch at St Benedict's Catholic School.'Amanda Bloomfield CEO with Margie get peeling sprouts ANL-141217-195726009

Gatehouse is also organising its annual Christmas lunch, open to all ages, at St Benedict’s Catholic School on Christmas Day.

For a hamper or to book a place for Christmas lunch call Amanda on 01284 754967.

Stowmarket and Area Foodbank is also gearing up for its big Christmas hamper give-away. On Sunday, Mayor of Stowmarket Gerard Brewster visited the food bank’s headquarters to officially launch the scheme.

Manager Mike Smith said the organisation had 1.5 tonnes of Christmas goodies to give away this year.

“We have got 90 Christmas hampers completed and can have a few more made up if we need them,” he said.

“There is mixture of things in the hampers - some normal food items but also some special bits and pieces for Christmas like nuts, crisps, pickles, cakes and puddings.

“It is about giving families something a bit special this festive season.

“And we still have a few hampers that need a home.”

If you would like to nominate a family to receive a Christmas hamper call Mike on 01449 774000