AN organisation which is helping people in Bury from going hungry this Christmas is calling for additional donations.

The Radcliffe-based charity Porch Boxes, which provides bags and boxes of food to 86 different agencies, including the borough’s social services, churches, women’s refuge and a variety of local authority departments, said demand is on the rise this Christmas.

Its co-ordinator Julia Rowlands said the number of bags/boxes handed out this year would outstrip the 5,000 handed during 2016.

She explained: “The average monthly food currently given out amounts to an average of 450 a month, which will be more than last year.

"The monthly average given out by the charity in 2015 was 426 and in 2014 it was 394.

“It illustrates that the need is going up and up and individuals are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet.”

The donations needed by Porch Boxes include tins of beans, soup, tuna, stews, meats, spaghetti bolognese, sauces

The donations come to Porch Boxes from a variety of sources including churches, schools, businesses and individuals and Julia is keen to plea to people who are genuinely suffering in silence to come forward for help.

Julie added that people should feel comfortable enough to contact the group if they are struggling. She said: "I suspect there are a lot of people suffering in silence and they should not feel bad about contacting the council or Citizen’s Advice or contact us right up to Christmas Eve and we will help point them in the right direction.

"To donate or to contact Julia go to the website -"

Meanwhile, there are other groups in the borough helping provide food and other support this Christmas including Chesham Fold Community Centre which has enabled volunteers to run a foodbank in partnership with the charity Caritas and offer food parcels every Thursday for 10am to 11.30am.

The leader of Bury Council Cllr Rishi Shori has thrown the support of the local authority behind Porch Boxes saying: "We are right behind the charity having supported it financially with a £15k grant and donating warehouse space.

"I’d like to encourage others across Bury to donate to help keep this life-changing charity going, whether that’s individual or business donations.” Since Porch Boxes was established in 2001 it has helped 52,715 families across Bury, some in Bolton and Heywood Rochdale.