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  • Writer's pictureNikki Lancaster

Carmel Charity Foundation x North London Food Banks

In 2022 we were inspired by the cost of living crisis, and chose to focus on helping low income families in our local area.

Part of the funds raised by the charity over the year were split between 2 different projects:

· Christmas Food Hampers – to source, purchase and prepare 200 family grocery bags inspired by Christmas through local food banks and community centres.

· Christmas Gifts for Children – to source, purchase and distribute 400 gifts to children under the age of 18 who might not receive gifts – these included children in group homes, hospitals and in low income families.

We tasked The Carmel Charity Foundation Support Team to carry out the 2 projects. Team Food was headed up by Rhiannon and Team Toys were headed up by Sophie C.

Team Food began by contacting local food banks to find out what to put in the food parcels, how many parcels each food bank would need and by when.

Each food parcel contained a variety of 25 different items, including tinned food, toiletries, essentials, and Christmas treats.

The team ordered roughly 25 home food deliveries to the office and staff homes, and set up a pick and pack area in the Charity offices. Carmel staff helped to carry the deliveries upstairs, pack the food parcels and carry the parcels downstairs to the basement. The parcels were then driven to the local food banks.

In total 204 food parcels were made up. 170 large family hampers, 20 small individual / couple’s boxes and 14 medium sized boxes. These were distributed to the following charities:

· 80 large hampers to Castle Haven Community Centre in Camden who run a weekly foodbank.

· 20 large and 20 small to Chalk Farm food bank.

· 42 hampers in a mix of sizes to Cross Roads Women’s Refuge Centre in Kentish town (Plus coats).

· 42 Large hampers to Kentish Town Community Centre who also run a weekly foodbank.

The response from the food banks was amazing. They were all extremely grateful and there were tears of appreciation. Listening to the stories of hardship we were told on delivering the parcels was very humbling.

A great team effort from Team Food and all the Carmel staff who jumped up from their desks to help whenever a Tesco delivery arrived!

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