A FOODBANK has praised the actions of pupils from a Darlington secondary school after almost 80 hampers were put together in time for Christmas.

Pupils at Haughton Academy on Salters Lane spent much of December collecting products to go in hampers for King's Church's foodbank on Whessoe Road.

Pupils were also encouraged to help get their family members into the cause, with some collecting toiletries for some of the town's most vulnerable.

Amelia Calvert, head girl at Haughton Academy, said: “It is hard to understand that in the 21st century, in a country as rich as this one, that foodbanks are still needed.

"But at least pupils have responded well by collecting so much food.”

Jonathan Lumb, academy principle, said:“This is typical of the caring nature of pupils at Haughton Academy and I am thrilled that once again they have risen to the challenge and responded so generously."

It is claimed there are around four million children living in poverty across the UK, while it's believed there are now more foodbanks nationally than there are McDonald's restaurants.

Praising the pupils' selfless acts in time for Christmas, Mark McKnight, King’s Church operations manager said: “It isn’t just the unemployed who can’t afford food.

"We have people coming to us who are paid well but are having to cope with mounting debts.

"It is fantastic that pupils have been so supportive and we also need them to spread the word to anyone out there that if they need help we are there for them," Mr McKnight added.

Towards the end of November, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet met to consider allocating around £100,000 to the transformation of the Northgate ward area.

The fund, which is hoped would help housing, environment, education, health, employment, safety and social relationships, would also pilot a range of support and advice activities in an area where the unemployment rate is "historically" double Darlington overall.