BUSINESSES across Worcestershire have been getting involved in a charity challenge to try and make a difference to foodbanks in the region.

Firms up and down the county have been taking part in the ISO Quality Services Limited BingoBox challenge, which has returned once again.

The challenge sees companies fill a bingo card of items to help relieve some of the burden on the foodbanks in Worcester, Malvern and Droitwich, which have had to cope with high demand at Christmas.

This year, the challenge was adapted to include household items and essentials rather than just food and was expanded from last year’s, when collections were donated only to Worcester Foodbank.

Director of ISO Quality Services, Jennifer Semini said: “We are absolutely delighted with the response to the Bingo Box challenge this year – Worcestershire businesses have really outdone themselves with their generosity.

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“We started this challenge as we felt that helping the local community, not only at Christmas but all year round, is really important. Anything we can do to help raise the profile of the Foodbanks and the wonderful work they do, helps us achieve this.”

The challenge was first set up when staff at the St John’s based company decided to do something different from the traditional Secret Santa.The businesses that took part collectively donated 1,055kg of goods, smashing last year’s total of 771kg, 37 per cent more than last year.

Grahame Lucas, Worcester Foodbank manager, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of local businesses who have stepped up to the plate again at a time when we’re facing unprecedented demand for emergency food. Without this kind of support many more people and families would face the miserable prospect of going hungry this Christmas.”

Mrs Semini added: “ISO Quality Services Limited would like to thank every single business that took part, donating either items or money. We would also like to thank The Christmas Decorators, specifically Paul Chester for being a huge help in getting these donations to the foodbanks. Finally, a thank you to the food banks for being so willing to help Worcestershire help them in this Christmas mission.”