“Everyone needs to eat. Everyone deserves to have a Christmas. Everyone deserves to have food on the table,” says the local man who has scrapped buying Christmas presents this year, instead opting to fundraise for Salford Foodbank.
“To be honest, I think the pandemic kind of hit everyone in different ways, hasn’t it?” said Jack Turnbull. He started the fundraiser with his girlfriend when they realised the money would be spent on Christmas gifts they didn’t need.
“Financially, it’s definitely hit people that, to be honest, before that might never have needed to go to food banks and go and kind of use those facilities that are out.”
The 26-year-old described that food banks are a cause close to his heart as he grew up in households where they’d have to use them: “[T]here’s always kind of be that stigma that’s been attached to it. Now, hopefully, having all lived through the past couple of years, that stigma is slowly starting to move away.”
Mr Turnbull, who manages a Covid Test Centre, also pitched the fundraiser to his colleagues instead of Secret Santa. He set the fundraiser to a modest amount and shared it with friends, not thinking much of it.
“I thought ‘we’ll put it as £100, and a few people here and there will donate’ […] Now it’s at £1000, and we’re like, ‘wow, okay,’ so we’re going to go fill trolleys at Tesco tonight [to donate]. It just feels really nice.”
“He has spent £600 so far on six trolleys worth of food, weighing a total of 470kg,” said Emma Rapley, who is the Warehouse Coordinator at Salford Foodbank. “Thank you to Jack and all those who have donated to his page – on behalf of the individuals and families who rely on the food bank at this time of year; thank you, we’re so grateful!”
Mr Turnbull will do another shop and donate the rest of the food later this week.
“We’re in a comfortable position now [to give back]. We’re not rich by any means, but we can afford an advent calendar and a selection box, and sometimes you take them things for granted,” he said in response to why he wanted to give back to the community this Christmas.
Encouraging others to donate or start a fundraiser of their own, he said: “Just do it because you’ll feel ten times better than what you would have if you’d given a really expensive present to someone who didn’t need it.”
You can donate to Jack Turnbull’s food bank fundraiser on JustGiving.