Gazette readers always come through in style and our Give a Gift Appeal needs your help again this year to make Christmas a little easier for those in need

Give a gift to needy families in North Devon this Christmas.Give a gift to needy families in North Devon this Christmas.

For many North Devon families Christmas is a truly difficult time so once again we are asking Gazette readers to help spread a little festive cheer.

This week we launch our annual Give a Gift Appeal together with Northern Devon Foodbank to ask for your help in donating Christmas treats and festive extras for those in need.

Now in its fifth year, the appeal is more crucial than ever following last week’s revelations that foodbanks in North Devon has seen a surge of more than 30 per cent this year, with 2,355 emergency food parcels delivered to local families.

Last year Gazette readers donated an amazing 150 kilos or three shopping trolleys of Christmas treats to help ease the burden on others.

We need items such as fancy biscuits, sweets, chocolate, tinned ham, mince pies, Christmas puddings and any other non-perishable festive treats you can think of.

Donations can be left at the Gazette offices in Old Station Road, Barnstaple (by Enterprise car hire and Grosvenor Church) or at local foodbank branches in the main towns (see the full list below).

This year the Halifax has joined the appeal and donations may also be left at Halifax branches in Barnstaple and Bideford.

Duncan Withall, chairman of Northern Devon Foodbank, said the Christmas appeal is always very well supported.

He said: “The run up to Christmas outs extra strain on families in this area, where we have such low incomes compared with the national average.

“People that are struggling to survive don’t have the ability to be able to go out and get those extras for Christmas, so we want to support them by giving them some of the extra foods that we take for granted.

“We are very grateful for the Gazette appeal which has been well supported every year and enables us to make Christmas a little brighter for lots fo local families.”

Donations may be left at –

North Devon Gazette, Old Station Road, Barnstaple.

Barnstaple Foodbank, St John’s Community Hall, Rose Lane (by Tesco).

Bideford Foodbank, Pitt Lane.

Ilfracombe Foodbank, Salvation Army Hall, Torrs Park.

South Molton Foodbank, YMCA Centre, Mill Street.

Halifax Barnstaple, High Street.

Halifax Bideford, High Street.

CLICK HERE to find opening times for the North Devon foodbanks