A RECORD number of crisis packs are being delivered to vulnerable people in the borough by a Radcliffe-based charity.

Latest figures released by Porch Boxes, an organisation which provides food and toiletries for people in need, has shown a massive increase in demand for its services.

Porch Boxes, which takes orders from referral agencies which deliver the packs to needy families, sent out 739 boxes last December — an increase of more than 100 from December, 2012.

Requests have been such that stocks at the charity’s distribution centre at Bridge Methodist Church in Milltown Street are running low, with staff having to buy some items before they can pack boxes.

Julia Rowland, chairman of Porch Boxes, said: “We have found the number of people finding themselves in crisis need has increased quite dramatically from the number of boxes which has been sent out.

“Due to the demand, we now have to buy a number of items before we can pack boxes as we have now run out of certain foods.”

Throughout 2012, the charity distributed a monthly average of 228 boxes.

But the most recent figures show that, in September, 2013, Porch Boxes sent out 332 crisis packs, in October 543 packs were delivered, followed by 510 in November, and 739 in December, plus an additional 327 special Christmas boxes.

The figures refer not to the number of families receiving packs but to the number of packs sent out, as some larger families may receive two.

In 2010, Porch Boxes sent an average of 227 crisis packs out a month, in 2011 the monthly average was 175 and in 2012 the monthly average was 228.

The charity was set up in 2001 and provides emergency packs of nonperishable food and toiletries designed to last two days.

Organisations request the packs for people in need including vulnerable or abused people in temporary housing or hostel accommodation, people living on the streets or older people who live in poverty.

Mrs Rowlands, who is headteacher of St Stephen’s CE Primary School in Bury, added: “On behalf of the trustees and vulnerable people of the borough I thank everyone for their kind donations of food in 2013.

“This generosity has helped vulnerable people in crisis in the last few months, especially over the Christmas period.

“We would be unable to continue without this kindness and support for our work.”

Porch Boxes is currently in need of donations of tinned meats, tinned ready meals such as meatballs, hotdogs, sausage and beans, and pasta, tinned tomatoes, jars of pasta sauce and instant pasta and noodles.

For more information go to porchboxes.org.uk