Desperate families who can no longer afford to eat are walking more than six miles to pick up food parcels from a church.
The food bank at St Catherine’s Church is in urgent need of donations after an unprecedented increase in demand from people who have nowhere else to turn.
Some people have walked from as far away as Normanton to pick up a food parcel from the church on Doncaster Road.
Rev Helen Collins said: “There has been a massive increase in demand on the service and last week our supplies were running really low.
“We used to get one or two people a week at an absolute maximum until very recently.
“We have had a real surge in the number of people coming to us which reflects the economic situation.
“The common thing that people are saying when they come in is, ‘I’m not the kind of person who would usually need this kind of help’ - they don’t expect to be in this situation but circumstances have conspired against them.
“We don’t judge anyone - we just want to help them.”
So far this year the church, on Doncaster Road, has given out 70 parcels - an average of ten a week.
The number is a huge increase on last year’s overall total of 117.
The food parcels contain essential basics including pasta and tinned vegetables.
Rev Collins said: “The people we see have reached a crisis point in their lives.
“Some have been made redundant and are waiting for their benefits to come through.
“Our aim is that people are not reliant on us for food - it is only in an emergency.
“There isn’t an inexhaustible supply of food and we want it to do to the people who really need it.”
The church also helps people with advice on how to deal with debt problems and also holds a job club.
To donate to the food bank, visit the church or call 01924 211130.