Big thanks to all our generous readers!

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Generous donations have helped bring a merrier Christmas to hundreds in Chronicle Country.

Once again, we teamed up with the Need Project for our annual Feed the Need appeal.

We asked you to contribute festive fare and presents to help those facing tough times.

And you responded in droves.

With your help, 252 Christmas hampers were distributed, along with 83 regular food hampers, 170 Christmas presents, and 60 advent calendars.

The Need Project was also able to host one party for 65 people, and fund a second one for 18 people.

In addition, the charity was able to help with gifts of furniture for those who are struggling to make ends meet.

In total, the donations amounted to £14,800 worth of food, £1,700 worth of presents and £270 of other gifts.

The project is based in Stotfold, but helps people across Chronicle Country.

Gordon Hamilton, project leader, said: “Some of the things that were donated were brilliant – the kind of things I’d want to have myself! We want to thank everyone who gave things to us, and hope that the people who received things had a better Christmas because of it.

“Without people’s generosity we couldn’t do what we do.”

This year saw the project emptying its five storage facilities to distribute parcels, and spending an additional £1,500 to give people a helping hand.

But thanks to the overwhelming generosity of people, each of the stores has now been replenished, and more money was donated than had been spent, meaning the project will be able to help people through t he New Year.

Gordon added: “The Sikh community really helps us out. We are a Christian charity but we work very closely with other faiths and organisations of no faith too.

“Feeding the hungry is the most important thing.”

In an average month the Need Project will give out 120 food parcels, and is now giving furniture and other items too.

It is looking for another dry storage location to help ensure its good work can continue.

One man who received a Christmas hamper, but asked not to be named, told appeal organisers: “Your people delivered a food parcel to my home. A kind gesture that left me unashamedly in tears. I’m not used to acts of kindness, from anyone, probably because I have never sought them.

“Until a few years ago I was in a position to look after me and mine. However, much to my shame, I am no longer the man I once was or the man I so long to be again.”

If you would like to help the Need Project, visit its website at www.theneedproject.co.uk/