LATEST research is expected to reveal that the number of people in the Leigh area living below the poverty line is above the national average.

As volunteers get ready for this coming weekend's supermarket collection day at Atherton Tesco, Atherton and Leigh Foodbank secretary Dave Hughes said: "Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK, one in every five people. One in three children live below the poverty line in the UK according to Oxfam.

"Yet less than five per cent of foodbank clients are homeless, many are working families struggling to make ends meet. These are the stark facts of the latest research from the Trussell Trust foodbanks.

"Statistics for Atherton and Leigh are likely to show a higher need than the national average."

On Saturday and Sunday volunteers will be at Tesco Atherton inviting customers to donate everyday food items to Atherton and Leigh Foodbank to help those in need. Tesco will boost this by 30 per cent of the total collected.

Volunteers will be working alongside frontline care professionals and it is expected the first Foodbank clients will be supplied with a voucher that will be redeemed with food next month at St John's Parish Church in Atherton.