Posted by Devenia Besant on 13 Nov 2019

It’s always shocking to hear just how much poverty there is locally, we live in Surrey right, one of the richest counties in the country so how can this be?!

I regularly meet with Jonathan Lees (the founder of our local food bank) so I can keep up to date on how we can support them and their objectives.  With Christmas coming up we met recently to discuss how the community can help the cause and all the families they support.

Shockingly last December the food bank fed 578 people and to date are 45% up on demand.  Christmas is always a really busy and sad time – the food bank are expecting to support more people than ever! They  want to offer the same scheme which was started last year by supporting families and allow them to buy fresh food for a proper family meal together.   Last year with top ups they spent a total £5,200.

I know there are so many of you out there that would like to lend a hand in some way shape or form as just the thought of those going through hard times at a time when we will be celebrating is unimaginable, so here’s just how you can help this Christmas:

1. Donations for a fresh Christmas meal

For example a donation of the following:

🍽 £20+ for a single person
🍽 £25+ for a household of two
🍽 £35+ for a family

This means a family could purchase a joint of meat from their local butchers and get fresh veg from their local greengrocer or supermarket to cook a fresh Christmas meal. You donate, and the food bank will do the rest.  The families are given vouchers in order to make the purchases.  Donations can be made here please do mark in the reference “Christmas meal” or if you would like to transfer directly into the food banks bank account, please email Naomi for the account details on

2. Energy Top ups

During December in order to help people cook the food provided and keep their energy the food bank offer one off energy tops ups to people on meters for electric and gas. If you want to support this then please make a donation of between £10 – 30 referenced energy, this will allow the food bank to offer this service.  Any money left over and they will run a heating top up in February.

3. Food Donations

Food donations will also be welcome such as:

Selection Boxes
Sauces – ketchup, Brown sauce
Sponge puddings
Powdered milk
Sanitary towels

Food donations can be dropped off at many locations including their Head Office on Ruxley Lane, Ewell with other drop off locations in Banstead, Tadworth, Epsom and Leatherhead.  You can find address details for these here.  All Things Nice in Ewell Village is also a donation station.

3. Adult Present Donations

Can you provide small gifts for adults, especially males that won’t be getting anything this year?

4. Household Donations

As part of Christmas giving if you could donate new towels, flannels, pillows and duvets these make great gifts to the adults they support.

Donations for both presents and household donations can also be dropped off  at the Head Office address above.

5. Furniture Donations

Generally at the furniture store they are looking for single and double beds, wardrobes, chest draws and bedside tables. Due to limited storage some times the food bank have to decline some furniture donations.

6. Epsom Town Christmas Lights On Event

Lastly it was recently announced that the food bank is the chosen charity for this years Christmas Tree Lights Switch on in Epsom marketplace. The fun starts at 4pm with local schools and choirs performing.
There will be funfair rides, stalls, mulled wine and Santa’s Grotto. The tree lights will be switched on by the Mayor, look out for the collection buckets on the night.

More information on any of the above can be found on the Epsom and Ewell Foodbanks website, follow them on Facebook or emails can be sent to –

I know they fully appreciate all the support they get.

Thank you,

Dee xx

Devenia Besant
Devenia (Dee) Besant is the founder of Epsom and Ewell Families. Runs a busy household as a mummy of 3 and a wife and some would say crazily committed to helping small businesses and the local community.

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