A GROUP of residents at a Spennymoor housing development is urging neighbours to get into the Christmas spirit by donating much-needed items to a local foodbank.

Residents of The Acorns are collecting donations for Spennymoor Foodbank, which hands out emergency food parcels to struggling families in the County Durham town.

Food poverty charity The Trussell Trust reported a 49 per cent increase in food bank usage in December last year – with the figure expected to rise this year.

Winter can be a stressful time for families in need, with families often being forced to make a choice between buying food and paying for gas or electricity. 

And there’s added pressure at Christmas to spend money on presents and extra food, while children who qualify for free school meals don’t receive them during the school holidays.

Grace Mackay, marketing executive at Maple Oak Homes, said: “This Christmas we’re reminding our residents and neighbours that not everyone is celebrating in a beautiful new home with the heating on and the fridge stuffed.

“For many Spennymoor families Christmas is a challenging time of year because they can’t afford food – let alone the added costs that come with the season.

“Dropping off a few tins might seem like a small thing – but it could make a real difference for a family in need this Christmas.”

All donations are welcome, but the foodbank urgently needs tinned potatoes, tinned spaghetti, tinned desserts, custard and festive treats such as chocolate, Christmas crackers and mince pies.  

Donations can be dropped off at The Acorns’ marketing suite.