Sprouts shortage this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 14:47 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:44 03 July 2010

A farmer-backed food charity which helps the homeless and domestic violence victims at Christmas is lacking an essential ingredient this year - sprouts.

A farmer-backed food charity which helps the homeless and domestic violence victims at Christmas is lacking an essential ingredient this year - sprouts.

The Norfolk-based Buckingham Emergency Food Appeal (BEFA) provides the ingredients for thousands of Christmas dinners every year with the help of farmers and other supporters.

Last year, in East Anglia alone BEFA provided enough food for around 2,800 meals on Christmas Day, at just under 100 locations, as well as making up several hundred food parcels for people in need.

It also helped projects in the North West and London.

With the recession, demand is expected to be even higher this Christmas and the charity is urgently seeking more donations of sprouts and other fresh produce from farmers across the region.

Peter Bowles, who runs the charity with wife Polly at Spa Common, North Walsham, said: “We have enough potatoes but it looks like our normal supplier won't be able to let us have enough sprouts for the Christmas dinners this year.

“We are also looking for supplies of other fresh vegetables including carrots, parsnips, and cabbages, as well as eating and cooking apples.

“We understand that delivery to our distribution centre in east Norfolk could be a problem but we have friendly hauliers who may be able to help. The first step is to identify someone who can donate the produce and we'll then take it from there.

“BEFA made a difference to many lives last Christmas. With the help of our donors, supporters and helpers, we will be able to do the same this year.”

For further information, or to offer a donation, please contact Peter or Polly Bowles on 01692 407262 or email

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