This is what you can put in a donation parcel for your local foodbank this Christmas

Foodbanks will be desperate to boost their stocks this Christmas.
Foodbanks will be desperate to boost their stocks this Christmas.

It's the most wonderful time of the year for many of us - but for some, the festive season is difficult and isolating.

Hundreds of foodbanks are in operation across the UK - and as Christmas draws closer, they need more donations than ever to help keep families fed.

Cereal and other dried foods are great donation items.

Cereal and other dried foods are great donation items.

Emergency food parcels are made up using donations from supporters, with some collections staged in supermarkets, shopping centres and other public places in the run-up to December 25.

With millions of people living in poverty across the country, any donation to your local foodbank would be much appreciated, especially at Christmas.

Read more: Dozens of boxes created for Bradley Lowery Christmas appeal

But what is the most helpful thing to give?

Toiletries are needed too - wipes, tissues and toilet paper could all be included in a parcel.

Toiletries are needed too - wipes, tissues and toilet paper could all be included in a parcel.

It's best to check with your local foodbank to see which items they are short of, but here is some general advice on items which go into a typical food parcel.

Don't forget, those asking for help might not just be in need of something to eat and drink.

Related content: 13 things to put in your charity shoebox this Christmas

Toiletries can go into an emergency package too - and they can go a long way into helping someone feel better.

Tinned fruit, jams and biscuits are some of the other things which could go in a food parcel.

Tinned fruit, jams and biscuits are some of the other things which could go in a food parcel.

Here are some of our suggestions for a food parcel:

Beans, lentils and pulses

Biscuits

Canned fruit and vegetables

Cereal

Chocolate bars

Long-life juice

Rice pudding and custard

Pasta and rice

Soup

Tins of tomatoes and pasta sauce

Tea, coffee and sugar

UHT milk

Here are some of our suggestions for toiletry items you can donate:

Baby wipes

Deodorant

Nappies

Razors

Shaving foam

Soap, shower gel and shampoo

Tampons and sanitary towels

Toilet rolls and tissues

Toothbrushes and toothpaste

Washing-up liquid

Washing powder

How to get started with a donation:

*Not sure where to donate? The network of foodbanks across the UK is a big one. Many foodbanks are run independently by local communities, while others are under the management of poverty charity The Trussell Trust. If you don't know where to start, why not contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau, church or community group to see if they know which foodbank is nearest.

*The Independent Food Aid Network has mapped the hundreds of independent foodbanks in the UK here.

*You can also search within The Trussell Trust network here.