THE rallying call to make sure no-one goes hungry in south Cumbria this winter was well and truly heard by The Mail's readers.

Just a month after The Mail launched its 'Feed the Foodbank' campaign, we can proudly reveal we have hit our target and filled the shelves of the foodbank stores three weeks earlier than anticipated.

Mail readers responded to our appeal to buy extra canned food during their weekly shop in their hundreds.

Their donations were added to that of kind-hearted businesses and will stop hundreds of families in Barrow, Ulverston and Millom going hungry this winter.

Volunteers give out six-and-a-half tonnes of food every month across the the three south Cumbria foodbanks and thanks to the introduction of Universal Credit they expect demand to rise by at least 31 per cent in 2019.

In a desperate appeal to "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" bosses at the foodbank joined with The Mail to fill the shelves and ensure no-one would have to hungry this winter.

To reach this goal the charity needed to collect 18 tonnes of food, taking the total food stores to 35 tonnes.

Ann Mills, manager of Barrow foodbank said the spirit of the local community was very special.

She said: “It always amazes me how generous and thoughtful the community are in south Cumbria, it really brings a lump in your throat.

“People have donated in their masses including food, money and presents.

“We can only give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported us in this amazing way.

“We would also like to thank those who have supported us with money for food which we draw on to purchase food when certain lines of food are running low.

“We thank The Mail and the many companies who have donated food and made it possible for us to fill the shelves."

Vanessa Sims, editor of The Mail, said: "What an amazing achievement this is.

"Thanks to the very generous Mail readers and community we have been able to ensure no-one needs to go hungry this winter.

“Dozens of caring businesses and selfless families have donated food in a bid to help those less fortunate.

“Getting this campaign to reach the goal almost a month early is a testament to the community spirit, which is alive and well in south Cumbria.

“A big thanks goes to everyone who donated and to those who played a part in enabling us to reach this fantastic goal.”

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “Barrow people and those who live in our communities are renowned for their generosity.

“This has been underscored with news that this total has been reached and thanks must go to everyone who has contributed and to the volunteers who have given their time so selflessly in helping with food collections and distribution.

“But while we can be satisfied that our neighbours who are struggling to get by are being helped we should all work towards establishing an England where foodbanks are a thing of the past.”