Members of Okehampton Round Table will be out with their sleigh in South Zeal and Sticklepath this afternoon collecting donations for the Okehampton Foodbank.

Residents are invited to leave a bag or box of non-perishable food at their front door or garden gate for collection from 4pm.

All manner of tinned and packaged food, from cereal to baked beans, tea bags to fruit juice and soup to sugar are needed for the foodbank to distribute to people facing hardship during the current coronavirus crisis. The detailed route can be found on the Okehampton Round Table Facebook page.

This follows the sleigh’s successful sortie in North Tawton yesterday, when the sleigh was piled high with donations.

Round Table spokesperson David Hall said the collection would be made by Round Table members ‘observing social distancing’ by collecting people’s donations from their gates.

He said: ‘Okehampton Foodbank are experiencing very heavy demand for their service right now and are currently fundraising to help meet this demand. We have given a donation of £250 to help them with this and we would like to do more.

‘Santa himself won’t be on the sleigh as he is rather old now and cannot leave his home at the North Pole in order to self-isolate.

‘We shall of course be observing social distancing and ask that if you have anything from the list please leave it in a plastic bag or box by your front door or garden gate so that it can be collected in a contactless manner.’

The Round Table sleigh has already visited Hatherleigh and North Tawton this week and will be visiting different parts of Okehampton tomorrow (Thursday), Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

‘We hope that you will enjoy seeing the sleigh again so soon, enjoy the music as we pass and help us make life a little more bearable for those desperately in need right now in our own community,’ said David.

A full list of food items needed can be found on the Round Table Facebook page, along with routes details of the places being visited by the sleigh each day.