With today marking 50 days until Christmas, FE colleges around the country are giving their foodbank collections a festive twist to support local communities over the festive period.
#FestiveFEFoodbankFriday was launched last year and is now part of the sector’s Good for Me Good for FE campaign. 120 colleges are engaged with the initiative, aiming to collectively generate £1m of social value over the coming year.
With demand for foodbanks continuing to increase nationally, collecting food items for them is a key strand of the campaign. Colleges will be encouraging staff and students to donate either single items or to create hampers to make Christmas a little easier for the many people in need.
Many other fundraising activities will also be taking place in the lead up to Christmas under the campaign’s umbrella, including Santa Dashes and Christmas lunches for care leavers.
Having spearheaded last year’s #FestiveFEFoodbankFriday drive and now jointly leading Good for Me Good for FE, Dr Sam Parrett CBE, Group Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, says:
“Sadly, foodbanks across the country are continuing to experience high demand, so encouraging our partner colleges to support these is an important part of our campaign. Christmas is a difficult time for many and we are delighted that so many colleges are re-launching their festive foodbanks.
“Colleges add value to their communities every single day. Good for Me Good for FE captures and maximises this hard work, bringing our sector together to support social mobility and aspiration. We are working hard to generate our target of £1m of social value and the collection of 20,000 food items – and are hugely grateful to all the colleges that have committed their support.”
Good for Me Good for FE launched in June 2021, led by London South East Colleges, East Coast College and Loughborough College. 120 colleges have pledged their support to the campaign and to date nearly £100,000 of social value has been generated.
Jo Maher, Principal & CEO at Loughborough College, says: “Colleges are at the heart of our communities, so it is vital we play a leading role in helping vulnerable local families and people in need this Christmas. It never fails to amaze me how generous and selfless staff and students in our sector are and I am so pleased to be re-launching the Festive Foodbank campaign in 2021 so that we can continue providing that incredible support to people who need it the most.”
CEO of East Coast College, Stuart Rimmer, adds: "It will be wonderful to see every college getting involved and using our sector's collective power to support a happier Christmas in all our communities."