A NEW charitable foundation set up by Lancashire's gas network, Cadent, has committed close to a quarter of a million pounds to help food banks respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cadent Foundation is offering £240,000 to help the Trussell Trust’s network, which includes Blackburn Foodbank, as they seek to support people affected by coronavirus.

The money has been fast-tracked to the Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food bank centres nationally, with the first transfer of funds made on Friday.

Cadent Foundation director, Julia Dwyer, said: "Food banks are facing a huge challenge right now, with supplies low and many of their volunteers falling into categories that must self-isolate – just at the time when the need for food bank services is greatest."

Head of Corporate Partnerships at the Trussell Trust, Sophie Carre, said: “As the coronavirus pandemic develops, more people than ever may need help from food banks.

“We’re working closely with our network to understand each food bank’s situation, offer guidance, and work out how we can best support them.

"We know we won’t be able to do this alone, so we are truly grateful for this support from Cadent Foundation.

"Please look at our website to find out more about food banks and coronavirus.”