WIDNES Foodbank has issued an urgent plea for donations ahead of an expected surge in demand during the school holidays.

July and August last year saw a steep rise in the amount of people visiting foodbanks nationally, with many families relying on free school meals during term times.

Now the foodbank has issued a plea for donation from residents and urged struggling families to seek their help.

Communications coordinator Gareth Watson said: “Lots of people are just getting by day-to-day but find their income simply won’t stretch to meet the extra pressure of missing school meals or paying for extra childcare during the holidays – help is here in Widnes.

“Everyone who comes to the foodbank is referred by a local agency who holds our vouchers, so we’d encourage anyone worried they won’t be able to afford food this summer to talk to professionals such as Widnes Citizens Advice or a children’s centre that holds vouchers.

“No-one should need a foodbank’s help and we’re determined to work alongside other foodbanks in the Trussell Trust’s network to bring about long-term change to end hunger, not only during the holidays but at any time of the year.

“Whilst we work towards this, we’ll continue to take practical action on the ground – providing the best emergency support possible to local people facing hunger.

“It’s only with the community’s help that we’re able to continue as we rely on local donations to run the foodbank.”

For more information, go to widnes.foodbank.org.uk.