Three of Birmingham's food banks are joining forces to collect several tons of donations to stop struggling families going hungry this winter.
Aston and Nechells, Sparkhill and Birmingham Central Foodbank are working together to hold a major food drive at the weekend after seeing a surge in people in need of emergency food parcels.
The joint city centre collection will take place on Saturday in Birmingham Cathedral Square from 10am and during the annual Carols in the City event between 2pm and 5.30pm.
Project manager for Birmingham Central Foodbank Patricia Hoskins said generous donations from the public are needed to help cope with demand.
“We have seen referrals double in the last couple of weeks, people coming to us are families on very low incomes struggling to cope, redundancies, homelessness and more,” she added.
“The city foodbanks are working together in a united effort to collect food so that we can help support those most in need.
"The spirit of Christmas is about sharing; we really hope people attending the Carols in the City event will bring their generous food donations and share with those who will struggle to eat this winter.”
People are asked to bring two or three non-perishable food items to donate at the foodbank collection point.
“The foodbanks are hoping to collect several tons of food, on the day, to help provide emergency parcels for hundreds of needy families and individuals in Birmingham, who will struggle to put meals on the table this winter due to rising food costs and fuel bills.
Sparkhill Food Bank, which will give away food parcels to families in south Birmingham who are referred to the charity by agencies including the Red Cross, the Job Centre and the Refugee Council, has already announced it is opening earlier than planned to cope with growing demand.
Project director Nigel Brookhouse said: “Christmas can be a lonely time, but to be lonely and hungry is quite tragic. We think we’ll be giving away a minimum of 50 parcels in the first couple of weeks, maybe more.
"And in the first year we expect to give away 1,200.”