HUNGRY families are in line for a Christmas bonus, thanks to Nationwide volunteers.

Staff at the firm’s Windmill Hill offices packed hundreds of Christmas hampers for the Swindon Foodbank this week.

The bags contain Christmas goodies, like mince pies and children’s colouring books.

They will be handed out to those who approach Swindon Foodbank for help in the run up to Christmas.

Managers at the foodbank say they expect to finish the year having fed 5,000 individuals struggling to make ends meet.

Jessica Masone, Nationwide’s social investment champion, got her firm involved in the scheme after seeing colleagues run something similar in Bournemouth.

Staff at Nationwide’s Optimus House office collected food and other Christmas goodies – adding them to boxes of food delivered by Swindon Foodbank volunteers.

Around three dozen staff members gave up their time to pack up the “hampers” – attaching a handwritten Christmas card to each bag.

Jessica said: “We’ve enjoyed it. We do it because we like to give back to the community.

“The foodbank is something people are all really passionate about. You never know when you might find yourself in that situation.”

Among the items donated by Nationwide staff for the foodbank Christmas collection were a large bottle of squirty cream – which raised some eyebrows among hamper packers – and dozens of handmade bags of sweets.

Jessica added of the sweet treat gift: “Someone had obviously spent a lot of time making them.”

Cher Smith, manager of Swindon Foodbank, thanked the Nationwide staff for their help in making the hampers.

“Our foodbank volunteers look forward to getting the hampers in,” she said. “They love giving out these Christmas hampers.”

The bags are a rare treat for those approaching the foodbank over the festive period – especially for those “who are anxious about approaching us”, Cher said.

The Adver is urging shoppers to buy a little extra this Christmas

Swindon Foodbank, which last year handed out 47 tonnes of food, is urgently calling for donations of potatoes, tinned puddings, sugar, tinned meat, toothpaste, shower gel and shampoo.

Manager Cher said: “We’re going to run out by January.”

Demand for the foodbank’s essential services is growing, managers said. in 2011 they fed 3,760 people and in 2016 it was 4,619.

Samantha Stapley of the Trussell Trust – to whose foodbank network Swindon Foodbank belongs – said: “Foodbank use is increasing and we’re worried people will be going hungry over Christmas.

“The stories you hear at foodbanks can be heartbreaking – mums who are going hungry for days so their children can eat, or families left to sit in the dark so they can have a hot meal. “

You can donate food, toiletries and other Christmas goodies by leaving them at the Swindon Advertiser’s Victoria Road office or at any of the Swindon Foodbank’s donation points at larger supermarkets.

To get support from Swindon Foodbank, call 01793 686510 or visit one of their centres. Full details are available from: