Reverse Advent: 24 Days of Giving

If you’re looking for a meaningful Christmas tradition for yourself or your family, here is an idea that keeps the focus on the needs of others. An Advent calendar is a traditional way to count the days to Christmas, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation. This REVERSE Advent calendar invites you to put one item of non-perishable food or select gifts aside each day in Advent as a gift for people served by 4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry.

Here’s what you do:

  • Get a box. Two wine or liquor boxes with cardboard compartments work well, but any box will do. Decorate it if you want – maybe attach the December calendar we’ve provided here!
  • Add a food or gift item to it daily. Our recommended list is below.
  • On the last Sunday of Advent, or Christmas Eve or Day, bring it with you to church. Put it with the larger 4Saints collection box in the back of the church.

Get kids involved with:

  • Decorating the box
  • Planning items to purchase
  • Shopping & selecting items
  • Putting an item in the box every day
  • Praying
  • Coloring in or marking off the calendar
  • Making a Christmas card to be included for the clients of 4Saints
  • Remembering to bring the box to church!

Add some prayer!

  • Pray daily for people who need food assistance
  • Pray to see and serve other needs in our community

Suggested non-perishable items:
Sizes are what the pantry typically stocks, which makes it easy for them to store. They will accept any in-date and unopened food items!

  • Canned vegetables & beans – 15 oz cans
  • Canned fruit – 15 oz cans
  • Canned soups – 10.5 oz (no Ramen please!)
  • Canned chicken – 5 oz
  • Canned tuna – 5 oz
  • Cans or jars of spaghetti sauce
  • Boxes of pasta – 16 oz (no bags)
  • Rice, Beans – 1 or 2 lb bags
  • Mac & cheese – boxed, 7.5 oz
  • Boxed cereal 18 oz or less – no bags
  • Peanut butter, smooth – 16-18 oz
  • Diapers – all sizes
  • Baby wipes
  • Feminine products

About the pantry

4Saints Episcopal Food Pantry is an Episcopal food bank within our deanery. Now located in the Baker Building at Texas Wesleyan University, the area has many low-income families, and hunger is an issue there. St. Martin’s joins St. Luke’s, St. Alban’s, Arlington and St. Stephen’s, Hurst in our support of this food ministry.