'PLEASE keep donating' is the message from Hambleton Foodshare as the foodbank network braces itself for testing times ahead.

Hambleton Foodshare operates from the Living Rooms in Northallerton and is continuing to distribute food parcels on a Monday evening to local people in need.

Co-ordinator Alison Grainger said that this week's Monday session saw a record amount of food parcels handed out - 49 in total - and there are fears that with coronavirus measures tightening and shoppers clearing supermarket shelves for themselves, foodbank stocks could soon run low.

Ms Grainger said: "We are really grateful for people who are continuing to donate and we would like to say, please continue to donate if you can.

"The difficulty is that a lot of agencies are and things are sending people to work from home which isn't great for us because if they are not able to deliver parcels we have to find volunteers.

"But we have had other people phone up and offer to help, which is amazing.

The Foodshare already relies on a wide network of 90 volunteers who help to collect, package and distribute the parcels, but with increasing numbers of people self-isolating, that volunteer workforce is already starting to diminish.

A soup stall that is usually run on a Wednesday to raise money for the Foodshare has had to be cancelled due to coronavirus measures but it is hoped that the Foodshare network can continue to operate during the upheaval.

Ms Grainger said: "It is definitely our intention to try and continue with the service as best we can if the volunteers are able to do it, and that is all we can do really.

"If you are doing practical things like giving out food parcels it's obviously not the sort of thing that can be done from home."

She added: "All the local churches that are normally donation points for us are not open at the moment and I think we are going to see a big impact in the next week or so as time goes on."

Donations to the Hambleton Foodshare scheme can still be made at the following locations, among others; The Living Rooms in Northallerton along with the town's Sainsbury's and Tesco supermarkets; the Co-op in Bedale; the Spar in Aiskew; The Willow Beck pub and The Station Hotel in Northallerton and the Stone Cross and Stokesley district council offices.