THE MALL Blackburn has welcomed in the festive period after a year unlike any other with a donation to tackle food poverty.

This has been one of the most pressing issues affecting communities across East Lancashire, with Marcus Rashford’s national campaign over this year helping to highlight the issue.

Now, the Mall has done its bit with a £2,000 donation to support the work of the Blackburn with Darwen Food Resilience Alliance, with contributions made by the shopping centre’s owner Capital & Regional.

The Mall general manager Loraine Jones said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of the Blackburn with Darwen Food Resilience Alliance this winter, it is playing a vital role in improving the health and wellbeing of our communities.

“Typically, these funds would be used for Christmas festivities at The Mall Blackburn but as this is not possible this year, we wanted to help vulnerable members of our local community during these difficult times.

“We are extremely grateful to Capital & Regional who also contributed to our donation.”

The alliance was formed out of the response to the first wave of the pandemic and is helping introduce the Covid Winter Grant, a government scheme to support those most in need with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other essentials.

The Mall’s contribution will help to considerably boost such efforts

Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education Councillor Julie Gunn, said: “This donation from The Mall Blackburn is incredibly generous and will go a long way to helping our most vulnerable families in the borough this winter.

“The Covid Winter Grant will go to those most in need, especially children who need our help and support this Christmas and beyond.

“I am so grateful to The Mall for helping to boost the fund in this way, it will make a big difference to those who need it most.”