1,000 Christmas toy and food boxes prepared for families in Gloucester by The Salvation Army

published on 14 Dec 2018

“Demand for our support has gone through the roof this year”

Over 1,000 Gloucester families and disadvantaged individuals will be able to open gifts and tuck into a nice meal this Christmas - thanks to The Salvation Army.

Every November, The Salvation Army in Gloucester runs an appeal and asks the local community to donate Christmas gifts which will go to underprivileged children in the city.

And as Christmas draws closer, The Salvation Army starts collecting and buying food for boxes it puts together for families in Gloucester who may struggle to buy food at Christmas.

This year, demand for this kindness has grown by over 20 per cent since last Christmas, as Major Gareth Heward of The Salvation Army in Gloucester explained:

“Demand for The Salvation Army’s support in Gloucester at Christmas time has gone through the roof this year. We prepared 825 food and toy boxes last year and that number that has been eclipsed this Christmas, but we’ve risen to the challenge. Yesterday we made up over 1,000 boxes for people in Gloucester who were referred to us by social services and other local agencies.

“We truly have been blessed by the support we’ve had this year for the Christmas Present Appeal from local people and businesses including The Entertainer, Argos, Gloucester Quays and the

Gloucester Citizen and Echo. I would like to thank everyone – including our fantastic volunteers - who have given us their time and energy this festive period to help make Christmas a special time for people in our community.

“Quite clearly, there is a lot of kindness in the city of Gloucester; everyone who has donated a gift has helped us to make a difference and put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas. The gifts we received will be given to children and young people who may not otherwise receive a Christmas present. The food boxes will also help us make sure that people who may not otherwise have a

Christmas meal this year, will have something nice to eat come Christmas day.”

On Wednesday December 12, Salvation Army staff and volunteers finished packing up the Christmas toy and food boxes and began distributing them around Gloucester.

The Salvation Army’s worship hall at 150 Eastgate Street in Gloucester was turned into a mini supermarket with food items laid out on tables around the hall.

Volunteers pushed shopping trolleys around the hall and filled up food boxes with festive treats and store cupboard essentials, such as baked beans.

The boxes were then sorted before beginning their journey to reach families and individuals in Gloucester in time for Christmas. 

Gloucester Children’s Services , the Lighthouse Children’s Centre and Families First Plus were among the organisations that received Salvation Army toy and food boxes to pass on to local families this Christmas.