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​How You Can Buy A Christmas Dinner For Someone Who Can’t Afford One

​How You Can Buy A Christmas Dinner For Someone Who Can’t Afford One

There's a lot you can do to help get some good festive scran onto someone’s plate this Christmas.

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

The Christmas dinner is arguably the best thing about the festive period. It's great to spend time with loved ones and all that, but realistically, we're just here for the pigs in blankets, aren't we?

It's a time of extreme gluttony, when you can get away with a continual stream of mince pies, mulled wine and cheeseboards simply because 'it's Christmas'.

But with all the frenzied festive feasting, it's easy to forget about those who aren't able to enjoy the same luxuries - those who might not be sitting down to huge Christmas dinner with family and friends when the 25th rolls around.

Fortunately, that's not to say you can't do anything to help get some good festive scran onto someone's plate this Christmas, as there are several ways you can help.

A £19 donation with the Salvation Army, for instance, provides a box filled with food and modest gifts for a family in need, while £45 provides support and advice for five homeless people in need in one of the Salvation Army's residential centres.

Up that to £112, and you could provide dinner and companionship for 20 lonely older people.

On top of that, you can donate presents for children and young people, with recommended gifts including teddy bears, DVDs, educational games, books and stationery.

Homeless charity Crisis also lets you help those in need when Christmas rolls around.

People receiving a free Christmas meal at Social Bite sandwich bar in Edinburgh.

You can buy the Crisis Christmas gift for £28.18, which reserves someone a place with Crisis over the festive period, including: a warm welcome and good company; three nutritious, hot meals daily, including a delicious Christmas dinner; a bed for the night, if needed; a chance to shower, freshen up and get clean clothes; a health check and treatment from a doctor, optician and dentist; expert help with mental health and addiction problems; advice on housing, employment and benefits; and a way out of homelessness for good through Crisis' year-round training, education and support.

Similarly, for a £10 donation youth homelessness charity Centrepoint offers people a hot festive meal to share with other young homeless people.

"Growing up I didn't really celebrate Christmas. We just exchanged presents. But one thing I miss from my childhood is dinner time before mum left - nobody would leave the table until there was nothing to talk about," said Amy, a young person who uses Centrepoint's service.

Food bank parcels being packaged in Rotterdam.

Refuge, the UK's largest domestic violence charity, offers Christmas dinner parcels to women and children so they can enjoy a festive meal together. A standard parcel will set you back just a fiver, and includes a Christmas cracker,a turkey or veggie dinner with all the trimmings, a dessert and a glass of wine or fruit juice.

Then, of course, one of the simplest ways to help is by donating items or money to a food bank like those run by poverty charity The Trussell Trust, which is one of the UK's largest food bank organisations - and relies heavily on donations from the public.

Some of the items usually dished out in a food parcel include cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea and coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk and fruit juice, so these are always a strong shout when you're thinking about what to donate - though it's important to remember non-food products as well, like toiletries, household items, feminine products and baby supplies.

The Trussell Trust has recently reported a rise in the number of food bank users.

"Christmas can be such a tough time for people," explained Lucy Duffy of The Trussell Trust.

"Not only do many of our clients have to choose between either heating their homes or putting food on the table, but there can be added pressure on social isolation around this time of year.

"It's therefore always heart-warming to see how the local community comes together to support each other by volunteering and donating."

Feel inspired to give a little back this Christmas? You can find your nearest Trussell Trust food bank here.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food, Christmas, News, UK