TWO new food banks are to open in Barnsley this month to meet growing demand.

The Barnsley Foodbank Partnership, which already runs three food banks in Wombwell, Goldthorpe and the town centre, is expanding.

Having previously had their main storage hub in Blacker Hill, they have had to move to a new premises three times its size on Grange Lane Industrial Estate given the volume of food they have in storage.

From March 6, a food bank at St George's Church, on York Street, will open. Two days later, St Helen's Church in Athersley will also be open once a week.

It works on a referral basis and has 16 agencies, which is set to be expanded as the demand grows. However, on-site volunteers will be on hand to offer advice on how people can access the service.

Alan Rouane, 32, project coordinator of the scheme, said: "Expanding will give more people more opportunities to access our service. The need is there, so this will help towards that.

"We have around five tonnes of food in storage that is ready to be distributed to those in need at our five locations."

The steering group and referring agencies behind the project is made up of people from the NHS, Voluntary Action Barnsley, the council, churches and the Credit Union.

"We are stocked up on staple foods," Alan added. "We would like more volunteers and more donations as it is an ongoing problem that needs addressing. Whether it is vegetables, rice, pasta or fruit, every little helps."