Small gestures will make a big difference at Christmas

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For most of us it is a time to eat, drink and be merry with the ones we love.

But for some battling to put food on their table each day as it is, Christmas can be a very difficult time of the year.

As unemployment, benefit cuts and the cost of living continues to hit many low-income families hard, the sad reality is not everybody will be looking forward to the festive season as they struggle for even a basic meal.

As others celebrate around them, Christmas has the potential to be the breaking point for those already finding it hard to make ends meet.

And that’s why we are calling on you to help.

Three years ago, we launched a Christmas campaign, asking our readers to buy an extra item of food when shopping to give to those in need.

Now we want to do it again, at a time when donations are needed more than ever.

Playing your part to help is incredibly easy.

All we ask is that you buy an extra item of food and then drop it into a special News trolley on your way out of the supermarket or shop.

You can find a full list of all the supermarkets taking part on page four.

There is also a recommended food list on page nine.

We will then gather up all of your donations and distribute them to food banks and churches across our area to help those who need it the most.

It’s a small gesture but one that can go a long way to making a difference to those who could otherwise have a cold and lonely winter.

You’ll hear plenty of times over the next few weeks that this time of year is all about giving.

We hope you can spare whatever you can and evoke the true spirit of Christmas by letting those less fortunate know you care.

Our readers have been incredibly generous in the past and we know this year will be no different.

More coverage of our Christmas Food Appeal launch is here and here.