BARNSLEY Foodbank Partnership has already ‘helped feed 11,500 people this year’ in an ‘unprecedented rise’ - 1,000 more than last year - prompting a borough-wide appeal for a donation drive.

The Barnsley Foodbank, based in Wombwell, is seeded by the Trussell Trust and is working towards stopping hunger in the local area.

They support thousands of local people every year, ensuring they don’t go hungry.

In a bid to support the service, Barnsley FC re-launched their Reds Against Hunger campaign earlier this year which has seen the club’s charity wing’s students take part in monthly volunteer sessions at the warehouse to help sort and pack food hampers for those in need.

Last week, first team players Aiden Marsh and Conor Grant visited the site to support the volunteers.

The players were given a tour of the Foodbank warehouse before getting stuck in to sorting stock and packing emergency parcels for those in need around Barnsley.

Conor Grant said: “It’s massively important that we help out in our local community.

“Just coming down here with Marshy it puts things into perspective and how lucky we are do what we do.

“To come down here and help is really special.”

Aiden Marsh added: “It’s a place where people come for need.

“Just walking around, you can see how friendly everybody is.

“We’ve had a chat with a few people and everyone is very welcoming.

“If you are need, it’s a very good place to come.

“Credit to everyone here, it is eye-opening.”

At Barnsley’s League One home match against Reading on April 13 at Oakwell, supporters are being encouraged to bring donations to support the campaign.

The donation point will be in the Ozone situated in the South Stand and will be open from 12.30pm until kick off.

The Barnsley FC Community Trust reception based in the indoor training centre will also be a designated drop-off point in the week leading up to the game for supporters that are unable to attend the game.

Georgina Arnold, communications officer at the foodbank, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Barnsley FC and Barnsley FC Community Trust again.

“As well as helping out and volunteering in our warehouse, it’s great to have the players getting involved with encouraging donations at the match too.

“So many individuals across Barnsley request emergency food support each day, so by getting donations through this amazing initiative, we’re able to help so many more.”

Barnsley FC chief executive officer Jon Flatman added: “Barnsley Foodbank has seen an unprecedented increase on the demand of their support in recent months, therefore, we feel it is important we use our fortunate platform to support the incredible work they do for those in need.

“The donation point for our game against Reading is a fantastic way to raise awareness of the crucial work they do for those in need within our town.

“We look forward to welcoming the amazing staff and volunteers from Barnsley Foodbank.”