A food bank isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life.
And Lancashire’s “incredibly generous” folk have been urged to keep on giving once the season of goodwill comes to an end.
In Preston the record response to this year’s Salvation Army appeal, coupled with sizeable donations through other charities and churches in the city, meant hundreds of needy families had festive food on the table and gifts for the children on Christmas Day.
But there are now worries the supplies which came flooding in during the build-up to Yuletide could begin to dry up when life returns to normal.
“Come the New Year we usually find stocks start to run down,” said Major Maggie Cadogan at the Salvation Army food bank in Harrington Street.
“This isn’t just a Christmas problem, it’s an all year round one. The people of the Preston are incredibly generous and hopefully they will keep on giving.”
The Harrington Street headquarters handed out more than 600 food parcels in the build-up to Christmas, together with hundreds more bags of presents.
The Foxton Centre in Avenham, which works with the homeless, looked after scores more people with food parcels and also provided Christmas Day and Boxing Day meals. A number of churches in and around the city also organised appeals.
Capt Alex Cadogan said: “At Christmas time people are a lot more aware of the community and so there is a more generous response.
“Throughout the rest of the year we get many, many donations to the food bank, but it comes in cycles. There are other times of the year when we have made special appeals, like we did after the summer through the LEP when we had so many referrals for families whose budgets were just tipping over into chaos.
“The response, once again, was simply phenomenal. The public just seem to reach into their pockets and give.
“The Christmas appeal this year has been a record one. We have had more people than ever before needing help and more people than ever have responded by donating food, toys and cash. But we need that to continue when we get into January.”