Employees of medical diagnostics company Hart Biologicals have come together this Christmas to donate a Hamper of Yuletide essentials to needy families across Hartlepool.  

This comes as a response to research conducted by the Trussell Trust that states the number of 3-day food packages given out across the North East alone from 2016-2017 was 61,567 which has dropped from 76,336 in the previous year.

The hamper was the idea of Hart Innovations’ Research Scientists Lexy Sarginson and Melissa Taylor after discussing their participation in the Harvest Festival as schoolchildren.

Lexy said: “We came up with the idea back in October. We loved the Harvest Festival as kids but I felt like people would be more inclined to donate if it were closer to Christmas.”

When asked why they started the hamper, Melissa said: “I think it’s nice to be charitable around Christmas. It must be hard not having enough food at this time of year. This hamper is just for people who need a bit of extra help.” 

After initially printing a list of urgently needed items for the hamper including cereals, tinned meats and fruits and pasta, Lexy and Melissa couldn’t believe the generosity they saw.              

Lexy said: “Everyone’s got really on board with it. We’ve currently got one full box in one building and two boxes in the other. We’re going to have to spend some time sorting it out because there’s a lot and it’s really heavy.”

Melissa concluded: “It’s gone better than expected. We never once had to ask people if they wanted to take part. Everyone has actively got involved and donated. It’s been lovely to see.

All three hampers will be donated to the Hartlepool Foodbank in the days leading up to Christmas. To find out how you can help or donate to the foodbank. Click here.