DEMAND for food parcels from needy families in Oldham has soared to more than 10,000.

That represents an increase 25 per cent on last year, according to Oldham Foodbank where 24 volunteers are engaging in helping poverty-stricken people, many of whom are in work.

Zoe Stansfield, a volunteer, said families were being affected by Universal Credit switching to monthly payments.

She went on: “We are also getting a lot more working families coming in.

“Last year we did 8,445 parcels, which would feed 22,000 adults and 12,000 children, but already well in excess of that this year.”

She said the Foodbank, based former Three Crowns pub building in Oldham town centre, was forced to put out an urgent appeal during the school holidays after it ran out of basic supplies like tea.

“We had to cut down on what we put in some parcels,” she said.

“At the moment it’s harvest festival and a lot of schoolchildren are choosing to donate food to the Foodbank.”

Oldham Foodbank works with agencies including Oldham Council, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Job Centres, churches and local doctors who issue vouchers to the needy. The charity Ancorra based in the Foodbank.

“Although people are supposed to come here with vouchers, if people come here and need food, we try our best to make sure they get what they need,” added Zoe.

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