FOOD for more than 3,000 meals was collected for a foodbank in just three hours by a charity and mosques.

Blackburn-based Al-Imdaad Foundation UK teamed up with Jaame Masjid Islamic Cultural Centre and the Masjid Anisul Islam, as well as 20 other organisations and mosques, to take part in a food donation drive.

A collection for Blackburn Foodbank took place on Saturday at the Masjid Anisul Islam in Troy Street and more than 1,337 kilograms of food were collected.

This comes as thousands of emergency food packages were handed out to people in East Lancashire last year and the use of foodbanks has soared, The Trussell Trust said.

Dr Abdussamad Mulla, country director of Al-Imdaad Foundation, said: “I would like to thank all the mosques and organisations that took part in this noble effort, this has been our second foodbank collection drive in Blackburn within the last six months.

“The need for the foodbank is on the rise and the mosques of Blackburn have come together to not only raise awareness but to help as many families as possible during these difficult times.

“We will continue to support our local projects and this shows by working together and with unity we are making a huge difference here in Blackburn with Darwen.”

Latest available figures for both Blackburn and Ribble Valley foodbanks, both run by The Trussle Trust, show at Blackburn Foodbank, 8,642 three-day emergency food supplies were given to people in crisis over the course of a year.

And Ribble Valley Foodbank gave out 1,308 emergency packages from its bases in Clitheroe and Longridge.

The number of food parcels handed out at the trust’s 1,200 sites totalled 1,583,668 in the year to March, a near-20 per cent increase on the previous 12 months, and the most since the charity opened 20 years ago.

Ros Duerden, operations manager at the Blackburn Foodbank, said: “Once again the Al-Imdaad Foundation have come to our aid at a time when demand is high and donations are low.

“Thank you to the Al-Imdaad Foundation for taking the time to organise a collection on Saturday.

“We are very grateful for each and every donation, the amount of food collected will provide 3,185 meals to people in crisis in Blackburn and Darwen, your support is greatly appreciated.”

In the last 12 months the Al-Imdaad Foundation have supported foodbanks in Lancashire and Yorkshire, providing in total over 25,000 meals, as well as providing hot meals every Sunday since 2014 with their food for thought project.