AN Ilkley food bank received a bumper donation after a kind hearted resident asked for donations to the good cause in lieu of birthday presents.

The generous lady - who wishes to remain anonymous - presented the unexpected present to the Churches Together Ilkley Food Bank just before Easter. The supermarket trolley was full to the brim with all kinds of food stuffs and toiletries, exactly the sort of thing the food bank needs to help people in Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Addingham and Silsden currently struggling on limited incomes.

Val Smith, CTI executive and food bank volunteer said: "The gifts came from a very thoughtful and generous lady who, to celebrate her birthday had decided to ask friends and family to make donations to the food bank instead of giving her presents. The food bank team are very grateful for these gifts. "The lady’s kindness is much appreciated and epitomises the continuing generosity of people in the Ilkley area."

Since September last year a group of volunteers from Churches Together Ilkley have organised the collection and distribution of food donations in Ilkley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Addingham and Silsden.

The food bank currently provides 14 food packages weekly to families, which include 14 children and to single people, including pensioners. The majority of those receiving donations are in work but on low rates of pay. Local schools, churches, health workers and the Citizen's Advice Bureau direct those who need help to the Ilkley food bank.

Val added: "We are ever mindful that without the support that we get from members of the public, from our churches, from Tesco, Booth’s and Ilkley Parish Council, we would not be able to help the people we do."

There are collections for the foodbank at Tesco and Booths in Ilkley as well as in the churches. Items ideal for donation include: tea, coffee, long life milk, sugar, tin openers, biscuits, crisps, cake bars, cold drinks, tins of fruit, custard etc, and other tinned goods such as tuna, corned beef, vegetables, beans and soup, pasta, jam and marmalade.

Donations of items including washing powder and toiletries including sanitary products, deodorant, hair products, toothpaste and brushes, razors and shaving foam, flannels and sponges are also greatly appreciated.

To find out more about receiving food from the foodbank email: or anyone needing help can call Wendy Ribbands 01943 864616.

* The CTI Food Bank will have an information point at the Soroptomist’s “Showcase” at Clark Foley Centre in Ilkley on Saturday, June 3. Volunteers will be pleased to chat to people about food bank issues on that day.