The Gazette has once again teamed up with Northern Devon Foodbank to launch our Give a Gift Appeal to help local families enjoy a little Christmas cheer.

The festive season is often the hardest for struggling families so to make sure they don't miss out we are asking for donations of Christmas goodies such as mince pies and chocolates.

Now in its sixth year, the appeal has always enjoyed a fantastic response form our generous readers and invites people to drop off donations of food at the Gazette office or their local Foodbank - see below for the full list.

Last year the appeal collected just under 313 kilos of food and it is hoped this year we can do even better.

The need has not diminished and in December 2018 Northern Devon Foodbank fed 1,333 local families - including 608 children.

It has also seen a hugely busy summer, feeding 2,445 families - 1,483 adults and 962 children - which is a 23 per cent increase on last year.

Chairman Duncan Withall said: "Following the tremendous success of our summer appeal and the super response from the northern Devon public, now we are looking for support for families over Christmas."

The Barnstaple foodbank next to Rose Lane Tesco is always busy and one of the volunteers told us: "The Christmas appeal enables people to have some of the pleasures of Christmas which they might not otherwise have had.

"Families can celebrate and parents can give their children a taste of Christmas which they might not have been able to afford.

"It's really lovely to be able to see their faces light up, because as well as their normal food they get a box full of goodies. It's fantastic when you hand it over and it makes the job worthwhile."

Donations can be made at Rose Lane Foodbank, Barnstaple (Mon/Wed/Fri 10.30am-1.30pm), the Gazette offices at old Station Road, Barnstaple (EX32 8PB Mon-Fri 9am-5pm), Bideford Foodbank in Pitt Lane (Mon/Wed/Fri 10.30am-1.30pm), Ilfracombe Foodbank at the Salvation Army Hall, Torrs Park (Tue/Fri 10.30am-1.30pm) and South Molton Foodbank at Mill Street (Thursdays 10am-12.30pm).

Christmas shopping list

- Mince pies

- Tinned meats (ham, spam, corned beef)

- Tinned fish

- Christmas pudding

- Christmas cake

- Biscuits

- Chocolates (luxury chocs, large bars, children's selection boxes)

- Savoury snacks and nibbles (ie nuts, peanuts, etc)

- Christmas crackers

- Tea and fruit juice,

- Instant mash

- Milk powder.

The closing date is December 13 and we hope to receive donations from you soon.