MORE than 200 families in a borough received festive meals over Christmas.

Working tirelessly over three days in the run up to December 25 more than 40 volunteers joined forces to deliver the special food packages.

They came from ‘Hacker’s Christmas Dinner Appeal’ and ‘Hyndburn’s Festive Feast’.

Paul Hacker, owner of The Great British Fish and Chip Bank in Great Harwood, started his initiative five years ago with a £100 budget.

He said: "“It started with a handful of families. Last year there were 51 and this Christmas 220 received a Christmas dinner, which amounted to over 1,000 meals. I have lived those Christmas days with no food on the table. I wanted to make sure no child and no family went through this. I did not predict how it would grow."

Hyndburn’s Festive Feast, organised by Stacy Walsh from the Hyndburn Hub, was established in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

She said: "“The combining of our two initiatives was what made this such a great success. We were really keen to do something to make sure Christmas Day felt special for those who are struggling. It was not just about food poverty, but about letting people know they are not alone."

Cllr Miles Parkinson, Hyndburn Council's leader, said: “When I first heard about the two different Christmas food initiatives, I thought it would be great to combine them and really harness the powers of our community. It was heart-warming to see the huge effort from so many people."