A former MP for Hyndburn has left £20,000 in his will to a charity which provides meals to children in poverty-stricken countries.

Ken Hargreaves left the sum to Mary’s Meals, an organisation that sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities. His donation will feed 1,870 children for a whole school year.

Friends of Mr Hargreaves, who died in June 2012 aged 73, said the charity was close to his heart.

Mr Hargreaves was a member of the Church and Oswaldtwistle Rotary Club  and club president Mike Hindley said Mr Hargreaves was dedicated to his charity work.

He said: “Ken Hargreaves was an outstanding Rotarian who was involved in all affairs of the club particularly in all aspects of charitable work.

“At local level Ken was deeply involved in the Blind Society, DASH, Maundy Relief and was an ardent supporter of the Right to Life. And of course internationally in Mary’s Meals.

“He will be deeply missed by all who knew him, he was a man of the highest integrity.”

Conservative Mr Hargreaves, who was known as ‘Mr Oswaldtwistle’ because of his devotion to his home town, served as a  councillor from 1965 to 1984. He was MP for the borough from 1983 to 1992. After leaving Westminster he spent much of his time supporting charities in and around the borough.

Kim Webster, head of communications at Mary’s Meals, said the donation will make a huge contribution to their work in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. She added: “Gifts made through wills are an important source of fund raising for Mary’s Meals with kind donors choosing to leave a lasting legacy, ensuring the causes they cared about in life continue to benefit after their death.”

Mary’s Meals started in 2002 when founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow visited Malawi during a famine and met a mother dying from AIDS – when he asked her eldest son what his dreams in life were, he replied

“To have enough food to eat and to go to school one day.

For more information about the charity visit: www.marysmeals.org.uk .