Widnes Foodbank will be launched before Christmas.

More than 80 volunteers responded to an appeal from the town’s 25 churches, who have united to provide emergency ration packs for families in crisis.

A warehouse has now been secured by Appleton Clr Eddie Jones, on a peppercorn rent from Halton Council.

Schools, youth groups and churches are collecting harvest festival donations.

Volunteer project manager, Widnes mum-of-four Clare Bedford, aged 43, of Farnworth, said: “The response has been absolutely fantastic.

“It is lovely that so many people have volunteered. The World appeal helped us to reach a wider group.

“We will be looking for more people to do supermarket collections.

“We will soon be asking offices, and places of work and worship to have regular collections.

“We need three tonnes of food before we can open. It is sustaining that afterwards that will be difficult.”

Individuals and families will be given a food voucher and signposted to other professionals for help.

The three area forums have each donated £500 and Halton Housing Trust and the Co-op have pledged cash to kit out the warehouse and instal IT and phones.

If you wish to collect for the harvest appeal, call 07952 352675 or e-mail info@widnes.foodbank.org.uk