TWO huge trucks packed to the brim with humanitarian aid left Bolton on Friday to make their colossal journey over land and sea to the Horns of Africa and some of the world's most vulnerable people.

The trucks were filled with food and clothing donated by kind-hearted people and organisations across the town and the UK, thanks to a collection campaign by Al-Khair Foundation's (AKF) Bolton branch.

Over the last five weeks the campaign has gathered more than £100,000 worth of vital supplies such as flour, rice, pasta, cooking oil, baby milk powder and tea bags, along with new clothes.

There was then a mammoth effort to collate and catalogue all the donations before volunteers, from as a far away as Bradford, West Yorkshire, helped to load the trucks.

The donations are now heading thousands of miles to Djibouti, an East African country, wracked by extreme poverty and a humanitarian crisis, as it deals with refugees streaming from conflicts in neighbouring states.

It is hoped that the trucks will arrive in time for the celebrations of Ramadan.

Aslam Atcha, from AKF's Bolton branch, said: “The response has been amazing and will help so many people desperately in need.

“The people of Bolton are generous and this appeal saw how much they care about people who are struggling. Their generosity will make a big difference to many lives and we would like to thank them.”

The AKF is a UK-wide Muslim charity which operates humanitarian projects at home and abroad ­— specialising to getting emergency relief to disaster and conflict zones.

It also runs schemes to tackle unemployment, poverty and discrimination in the UK.

The donation appeal is the third year running that the foundation has organised such an endeavour, and the second time they have sent supplies to Djibouti.

Zubair Vali, AKF's national mosque liaison officer, said: "That a local initiative in a town like Bolton will be helping so many people is amazing."

He added: "The Al-Khair Foundation has set a perfect example that charity begins at home, with tonnes of food collected from the locals including Mosques, supermarkets and other faith groups to benefit the recipients in Africa of Djibouti.

"This effort has been driven by passion uniting local communities to make a difference. We are delighted to have support from MP's and local Councillors including Yasmin Qureshi and the Mayor of Bolton Elaine Sherrington."