FOODBANKS across Keighley have joined forces as the coronavirus crisis sees demand soar.

Several organisations helping the needy have pooled their resources to support the hundreds facing food poverty.

Since the pandemic took hold, the new Keighley Foodbank Partnership has distributed around 1,000 food parcels.

And organisers praise the public for its “overwhelming” response, with donations of food, toiletries and cash.

Among those involved in the initiative are Keighley Salvation Army, Living Lights, the Hainworth Wood and Worth Valley foodbanks and Keighley Food Relief Team.

Referrals are made by various organisations into a central system, managed by Keighley Pathways. Self-referrals are also accepted.

They are then processed and passed to one of four hubs and the parcels are delivered to people’s homes, observing social distancing measures.

Deliveries are also made to community groups such as Project 6, Roshni Ghar, Keighley Asian Women and Children’s Centre and the Bangladeshi Community Association to distribute to their service users.

Each parcel contains on average a week’s worth of food, and can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Pet food is also available, thanks to donations from the RSPCA.

In addition, they include items such as resources from Keighley Healthy Living and a complimentary copy of the Keighley News.

Food has been provided predominantly by Bradford Council, but donations have also been made by Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Aldi and Shans supermarkets, as well as community groups and individuals.

Captain Josh Selfe, of Keighley Salvation Army, said people’s generosity had been “a credit to the area”.

He added: “It has also been a real privilege to work with the other food providers and with Keighley Pathways. Seeing community centres, churches and mosques working hand-in-hand across cultural and religious boundaries to feed a community is a very special thing.”

Sharif and Shohab Ali, from Al Hikmah and UKIM, said: “The Keighley Food Relief Team consists of three mosques and three Muslim-led charities to support the people of Keighley during this difficult time. We were able to set-up our emergency responses via a foodbank within days and have been supporting a range of people across the town.”

The partnership covers an area stretching from Denholme to Silsden, and Riddlesden to the Worth Valley.

To offer help, contact any of the food providers. People seeking support can contact Keighley Pathways on 01535 608631.