‘A single slice of bread’ – Making a family’s Christmas

17th December 2018

Making a family's Christmas - Slice of Bread - Bournemouth Foodbank
Your Foodbank donations really do make a family’s Christmas.

Here Debbie shares a brief but moving story from a Foodbank client.

I walked out of the hub on a quick errand and there was a lady in obvious distress.

I asked if I could help or if she just wanted to come inside and sit down. She simply shook her head at me and said ‘No thank you’. I continued on to run my errand and when I came back 5 mins later she was still there, still obviously upset.

I asked her again if I could help her; this time she agreed to come inside and sit down. One of the volunteers made her a drink and we sat together. All she kept saying was ‘I am sorry’. It took a further 10 minutes before she was ready to share her story…

The lady had been living in England for about 6 years with her husband and 3 children. She and her husband had always worked until her husband had fallen ill earlier in the year, meaning he was no longer able to work. She continued her work to support them all, however as December began, she had been made redundant, and hadn’t yet been able to get any benefits.

Things were clearly very difficult. When her elderly parents arrived from Italy to stay for Christmas, she was full of shame, as they had no money whatsoever for food.

She had been stood outside the Foodbank, too ashamed to come in with her red food voucher.

We chatted for a while as she calmed down and while the volunteers made her up her parcel. We had also been given some toys and games from the Wave 105 toy appeal and so we asked her if she would like to have a look for some gifts to give her family. This she did amongst a few more tears of gratitude. We also had a large family Christmas hamper to give to her which had all sorts of treats and goodies in to make a Christmas a bit happier.

This lovely lady was so grateful but couldn’t manage the walk home with all that we had given her! So I offered to drop it off with another volunteer on my way home, later that day.

When we got there she opened the door and we got a brief glimpse of her life. The lounge was full of bedding as they couldn’t afford to heat the house and when we carried the food into the kitchen there was a single slice of bread on a plate in one of the cupboards. The rest were bare!


In her kitchen, there was a single slice of bread on a plate in one of the cupboards. The rest were bare!


We were given the pleasure of seeing the children’s faces light up in awe at the sight of not only food, but gifts too. We received the thanks that quite rightly belonged to all of you, our donors and supporters.

Without you this family and many others would have had a truly awful Christmas.

So I want to say a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to you all on behalf of our local community for all the ways you continue to support us. Not just at Christmas but throughout the whole year with money, food and presents.

Bless you all and have a wonderful Christmas!

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