A food bank has opened in Oswaldtwistle to help struggling families get through the winter.
Churches across the area have clubbed together to set up the town's first food bank which will hand out essentials to people pushed to the brink by the recession.
The service will be based at the Harvey Street Community Centre and will run on a voucher system.
More than 200 vouchers have been sent out to different agencies including Homewise, Age Concern and the Citizens Advice Bureau who will then refer people to the food bank if it is needed.
Around 15 food bins have also been distributed to local GP surgeries, schools, supermarkets and the library for people to donate non-perishable foods.
Co-founder Eve Gattei said there is a big need for the food bank in Oswaldtwistle and it will reduce the need for elderly and vulnerable people to travel to Accrington and Blackburn.
She said: “We decided to set the food bank up because we think there is a need for it in Oswaldtwistle.
“We are working with other food banks in the area and we want to all work together.
“It is important particularly through the winter months as we don't want people to go hungry.
“We are leaving it up to the agencies to decide who gets a voucher.”
The food bank will be open every Monday between 1pm and 5pm and the service will run until March 31 next year.
Mrs Gattei, who is part of the Outreach group at St Mary's RC Church, said they've had 'a lot of enthusiasm' for the project and will look at the possibility of extending it if it's successful.
She said: “We are serving the people of Oswaldtwistle and we have had a fabulous response.
“It's only a winter project and if it's successful then need to look at different premises.”
Oswaldtwistle councillor Peter Britcliffe praised the volunteers for their hard work.
He said: “These are difficult times and if the food bank can help ease the situation for people then that can only be a good thing.
“I would like to thank Eve and all the people from the churches who have organised this and I am delighted to be able to support it.”
To help with volunteering or donating supplies to the food bank call 01254 237855.