Santa and his Elves helped spread some festive magic when they visited 3Food4U’s food hubs in the week before Christmas.

There were smiles on dozens of young faces – and a few tears of joy among some of the parents as well – as presents donated by the charity’s patron, Pearly Queen of Clapton Teresa Watts, were distributed following her festive appeal.

3Food4U’s chair of trustees Pesh Kapasiawala said: “The week before Christmas is always a highlight at 3Food4U. It’s very busy with food donations from the public, schools, churches and businesses.

Epping Forest Guardian:

“It's so overwhelming that the public trusts us as their first choice agency to deliver their generous support to the most vulnerable in the community in a non-judgmental dignified manner. We are truly grateful for all the support we receive, we couldn’t deliver our vital support with you!

“We're also very busy with food collections from some of the biggest manufacturers and distributors to make sure we have enough fresh fruit, veg, bakery, and chilled food over the Christmas and New Year period when we're open as normal.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

JP from Waltham Abbey said: “3Food4U has been a life saver, I don’t know what we would have done without them, it would have been impossible to manage. And today my daughter received a present from Santa, which has made her so happy. I'm speechless, I can't thank you enough.”

KL from Ongar was given a tablet for her child. She said: “Things like this never happen to me. I think l am still in a state of shock. Thanks to you and Santa it will be used to help with her speech communication. l feel very emotional, a big slab of concrete lifted off my shoulders.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

JM from Loughton said: “Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. Thank you for the continued help and support. You guys are honestly a God sent.”

LL from Chigwell Row added: “Thank you so much, you will never know how much you help me."

3Food4U is offering free groceries, clothes and essentials without assessment or referral to anyone that needs it. Stopping food, household essentials and clothing going to landfill, saving the environment and feeding the community by treating and supporting people humanely with dignity and respect.

Epping Forest Guardian:

It has a fundraising page at The community surplus hubs are open as follows:

  • Monday: Waltham Abbey - 13 Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday: Loughton - Loughton Club, 8 Station Road - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Wednesday: Chigwell Row - All Saints Church Hall, Romford Road - 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday: Ongar - Zinc Arts Centre, High Street - 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday: Waltham Abbey - 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm

For further details, visit, email or call 01992 842642.