John-Paul Stephenson

Manford and Moorhouse spread Christmas cheer with food bank donations

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

A leading charity has praised two TV stand-ups for encouraging their fans to donate advent calendars to food banks.

Jason Manford and Justin Moorhouse have used their huge social media following to encourage fans to buy extra advent calendars to donate to their local food banks. The aim is for more children and families to experience as normal a Christmas as possible during difficult financial circumstances.

Repeating the appeal on his podcast, About 30 Minutes, Never Longer Than 45, Moorhouse said: “The last thing that skint parents who had to go to a food bank would be doing is buying one of these advent calendars. They are part of Christmas for the kids… and it’s a little thing we can do to put a smile on the face of the kids, and maybe mums and dads too.

“Children of adults who use food banks aren’t to blame for their parents’ predicament. Imagine being a kid this Christmas, and knowing that times are hard and that money is tight at your house.”

READ: Justin Moorhouse interview

The Trussell Trust, a charity which aims to combat poverty and exclusion, say that they are “delighted” that comedians are raising awareness of the “stark choices” made by people who are forced to use food banks.

Speaking to Giggle Beats, the Trust said: “Christmas is often the hardest time of year for families who are living on the breadline. Many parents are forced to make stark choices between eating and heating and budgets are often stretched too far to afford for treats for children.”

The Trussell Trust is a non-political charity, and, although based upon Christian principles, “works with people of all faiths and none”.

Jason Manford's donationResponding to criticism that impoverished children might be better served through donations of healthy snack bars, Moorhouse said that children experiencing such conditions deserve to be spoiled.

“If the best thing that happens is that one kid’s life is improved by one per cent over something you did, then what’s wrong with that?”

He told his listeners that there is probably a food bank closer than they think to their home, and that advent calendars can be bought for as little as a pound in some budget stores.

“I don’t think we should have food banks in the Western civilised rich society that we live in; however, they are there, and there are people who need them.”

Your nearest food bank can be located on the The Trussell Trust website, which also accepts online donations, and gives guidance over which non-perishable food items can be used by food banks.