Norfolk businesses have been lending a helping hand to those most in need this Christmas.

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The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News have teamed up with foodbanks across Norfolk, Waveney and Fenland to offer the simplest gift of all in helping those who cannot afford to feed themselves. Last December, our foodbanks fed more than 1,000 people – including hundreds of children – and demand this year is expected to drive that figure far higher.

Property consultants Bidwells have supported the Norwich foodbank since 2011. Property manager Kelly Peden, who started the venture after a family member was made redundant, said: “We are hoping this is just the beginning and this will continue to grow.”

The food collection initiative began when a box was placed in the kitchen at work and the project escalated from that. The company held a James Bond-themed Casino Night, where the participants could exchange non-perishable food for chips.

And the volunteering continued with staff members helping to stack shelves and fill up boxes at the foodbanks. Miss Peden said the response of the participants was that the experience was “hard work and emotional” and that “seeing the dried baby milk brought the cause into reality”.

Karen Moore and Joanne Mills from Mitie, which provides facilities services at St Andrew Business Park, organised a Christmas fair involving a raffle, tombola, auction, games and cake sale and asked for donations from local businesses. They also collected £1,100.

Facilities manager Miss Moore said: “We chose the campaign because we wanted to put money back into the local community, 
rather than nationally, at Christmas time.”

Gifts for the appeal can be left at the EDP and Evening News head office at Prospect House, Norwich.

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