FAMILIES were overwhelmed by the support from the Ilkley community to provide Christmas food parcels for people accessing free school meals in the town.

Ilkley Gazette: Volunteers gave up their time to pack the food parcelsVolunteers gave up their time to pack the food parcels

Becky Malby, of The Ilkley Great Get Together team, who partnered with Ilkley and Addingham schools and Ilkley Foodbank during the pandemic to support families in poverty with food parcels, said: "We provided food provisions for 182 families this Christmas. The festive parcels contained food donated by the foodbank as well as amazing Christmas cakes, crackers, mince pies provided by hundreds of people in Ilkley."

Ilkley Gazette: Mince pies were provided by The Loafer BakeryMince pies were provided by The Loafer Bakery

Becky praised the generosity of local clubs, highlighting the amazing support of Ilkley Soroptimists who made 90 cakes and sewed stockings with chocolate teddy bears in to mark their 90th anniversary.

Ilkley Gazette: Hovis donated hundreds of loavesHovis donated hundreds of loaves

Olicana Bridge Club provided £143 in cash and lots of other goodies. Other donations included amazing mince pies from the wonderful Loafer Bakery, £500 from the Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary youth committee, £250 from Ilkley Rugby Club, lots of festive food from St John's in Ben Rhydding and a donation of veg boxes from the Cow and Calf Dairy. The annual Christmas cake making competition at Sacred Heart School meant cakes were provided. Packing boxes were donated by Booths and Tesco and Hovis provided 320 loaves of bread.

Ilkley Gazette: food parcels ready for delivery to Ilkley familiesfood parcels ready for delivery to Ilkley families

Becky added: "Funding from Bradford Council and Ilkley Town Council meant we could provide a box of food, as well as the festive cakes, selection boxes, mince piece, crackers and treats, and we can continue next year in half terms and the Easter holiday.

"Thank you to the amazing volunteer packing crew. Finally a huge thank you Ilkley Grammar School for being the packing head quarters, and to the teachers collecting and distributing food parcels at the weekend, sometimes delivering them to the families homes.

"Watch out Ilkley for the call for Easter biscuits in the spring! Thank you to all."