A local entrepreneur has set up a food bank in Heckmondwike this week to provide a vital service for local residents.

Local entrepreneur Shakeel Faraz, who created The Magic Wishing Well charity, decided to open the food bank in Heckmondwike after hearing about the need for the service in the area.

Local MP Tracy Brabin attended the opening of the food bank at Oldfield Lane, Heckmondwike, on Monday along with local councillors Aafaq Butt and Steve Hall.

Ms Brabin also spoke to volunteers about how the food bank would operate and heard from families who will need to rely on the service.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “It is heart-breaking that our community needs yet another food bank because local people are not able to afford something as basic as food.

“It is a damning indictment of years of failure to tackle food poverty and must be a wake-up call for those in power to do more to ensure nobody goes hungry.

“I am thankful to have such generous constituents who are prepared to volunteer their time, money and experience in setting up this foodbank. They represent the best of Batley and Spen.”

Local entrepreneur Shakeel Faraz said: “As someone who is Heckmondwike born and bred, I am so happy to be able to give back to my local community by setting up this food bank.

“Whilst it is a sad state of affairs that in 2020 we still have people going hungry, I am determined to play my part in ensuring that local people get the support they need because I believe we all have a duty to help those who require it.

“I’d like to thank Tracy and local councillors Steve and Aafaq for supporting the food bank during our opening, as well as all our volunteers, donors and business partners who have made all this possible. If you are struggling and need support, Heckmondwike Food Bank is here to help.”

Walk-in visits or referrals are available for those who want to use Heckmondwike Food Bank. It was opened on Monday 10th August and is located on 9 Oldfield Lane, Heckmondwike.