What do 1,640 tins of baked beans and soup, 600 packets of biscuits and pasta, 400 Christmas puddings and 800 Christmas crackers mean to Bury St Edmunds charity Gatehouse?
That’s the number of items the vital organisation needs to fill its Christmas food hampers to ensure those in need can feed their families over the festive season.
Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive of Gatehouse, in Dettingen Way, is urging residents, churches and schools to donate as the charity will be issuing an extra 400 parcels in December - on top of the 20 parcels it already hands out each week to families.
“Christmas is one of our most busiest periods of the year and this really helps people,” she said.
The charity’s foodbank has seen a five per cent increase in demand in the last month and Amanda expects to have provided about 700 food parcels by the end of the financial year.
On the reason for the foodbank uptake, Amanda said: “I think people have had extra demands over the summer period - school uniform costs are always a factor at this time of year.”
Boxes for the Christmas hampers are donated by British Sugar.
Gatehouse runs a free Christmas Day lunch at St Benedicts’ School, which is open to anyone.
Meanwhile, the charity’s plans to create a hub for dementia services continues to gain momentum.
A recent ball at Boxted Hall to celebrate Gatehouse’s 30th anniversary raised £2,500 towards the project. The event, attended by clients, volunteers, staff and supporters, included a three course meal, raffle and concert.
“I would especially like to thank the many local businesses who supported the event, which meant we were able to transfer almost all of the income direct to the cause,” Amanda said.
ClarkeCare, in Bury, has also sponsored the Rose Room at Gatehouse which is used for counselling and a podiatry clinic. The hub will cost about £160,000 - half of which has already been raised. They aim to start building work at the end of the year to open next summer.
Contact Amanda on 01284 754967.
To donate money to Gatehouse, visit localgiving.org/charity/gatehouse