Town is full of festive cheer

Volunteer Nerissa Roberts with the gifts distributed to children by the Todmorden Food Drop-in
Volunteer Nerissa Roberts with the gifts distributed to children by the Todmorden Food Drop-in

Volunteers have thanked the community for showing the true spirit of Christmas by helping those in need this festive season.

The Todmorden Food Drop-in team has been overwhelmed with the response to its Christmas appeal, which has seen donations of more than 500 presents.

On Saturday, the gifts were distributed to children of families who attend the food bank, helping to spread some festive cheer.

Food bank volunteer Nerissa Roberts said: “Hopefully we have made a few people’s Christmas.

“People were expecting to just get one toy but we gave them a bagful.

“It’s absolutely amazing the amount people have given. We were overwhelmed by it.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everybody who has contributed.”

Nerissa, a teacher at Oldham College who volunteers at the food bank once a month, said the aim of the appeal was to help people over the festive season.

“I just realised how many parents who were dependent on the food bank have children,” she said.

“If they are coming for a £5 bag of food at the weekend, they are not going to be able to afford gifts.

“There were some really pleased people on Saturday.”

Nerissa said a particular thanks to the staff at the Queen Hotel, Todmorden Library, Oldham College and Faye at

The food bank is holding a Christmas Eve lunch for its members today and volunteers are encouraging people to keep donating in the months ahead.

Janet Garner, of the food bank team, said: “There has been a lot of publicity over the last few days nationally about food banks.

“We have had another significant bump in our numbers.

“On Saturday we fed 115 families, which is a big increase.

“We are almost going back to a Victorian Christmas – people are having to come to a church building to be fed properly and that is a scandal.

“Once we get into the new year when the weather deteriorates, we are going to need to continue to feed people.

“When Christmas is over, a lot of people forget how many poor people there are in the valley.

“It’s not just people on benefits. It’s about people on poor wages, zero hour contracts and people struggling with the increasing cost of living.”

The food bank team would be grateful for donations of non-perishable food and toiletries, as well as warm clothing.

Financial donations can also be made at Yorkshire Bank – account name Todmorden Food Drop-in, account number 39388464, sort code 05-09-59.

For more information, contact Janet on 07949 212464.