Demand for a Keighley soup kitchen that began operating in the town a year ago has almost doubled during that period.

The Intouch Foundation began providing evening meals once a week in the town centre in late April last year. But numbers attending continue to grow.

The charity’s national mobile kitchen manager, Faisal Tariq, said: “When we first launched in Keighley, we were serving 40 to 50 meals per session.

“Now an average session serves 70 to 90 meals. We see a lot of new faces every week, and a lot more families.

“On the one hand, we’re not happy to see the numbers going up because it shows poverty is increasing and more and more people are in need. But we are happy to be able to offer some sort of ease to these individuals.”

Intouch has recently received a new mobile soup kitchen van, which is now ready to hit the road in Keighley and Bradford.

The charity spent two months raising the cash to buy the vehicle, and was supported by businesses that supplied either fittings or the tradespeople needed to convert the van into a soup kitchen.

The new facility was formally launched by the Lord Mayor of Bradford and Keighley councillor Khadim Hussain.

Mr added: “The old soup kitchen was a trailer that we used to connect to the back of a van, which could be a bit of a hassle.

“This new kitchen is a single unit, which is a van we’ve had professionally converted. It’s a lot easier to move around, and will help us get to the heart of wherever we might be needed.”

Intouch’s Keighley meal serving session on the evening of June 11 is being funded with cash from a charity evening at Keighley’s Balti House restaurant.

He said University Academy Keighley students, who helped run the event, will also be present to help feed deprived people.