ORGANISERS of the Galashiels Foodbank have reported continued demand for help during the past 12 months.

Between July 2016 and this June the church-organised foodbank provided five-day parcels to help 997 people.

During the previous 12 months the group provided supplies to help 924 local people.

Tom Hogg, treasurer of Galashiels Foodbank, told us: "A huge amount of food items are donated from different sources - churches, community groups, special supermarket collections and individuals - too much to even guess at the purchase value, but it is much valued by our team and the receivers.

"The food parcels which are given out get the clients over a crisis and provide sufficient food to last them and their families for four or five days.

"The parcels include some fresh items as well as long lasting foods."

Galashiels Foodbank was started by members of the Gala Baptist Church in response to a growing demand for help.

Over the past four or five years it has expanded and is now run as a combined effort by the different churches in Galashiels and Melrose.

The local foodbank only provides parcels to individuals and families who have been referred to them from Scottish Borders Council's social work department as well as voluntary organisations, charities, health professionals and the Citizens Advice Bureaux.

Over the past 12 months Galashiels Foodbank has received close to £4,000 in donations to help purchase fresh food and other items as well as meeting the cost of transport, storage and distribution.

Most of the cash comes from special church collections as well as community groups and fundraisers.

There has even been instances of anonymous cash donations being posted through the treasurer's door.

Mr Hogg added: "Money is needed to purchase the week-by-week fresh food items.

"There are also running costs to provide a mobile phone, food storage and the rest.

"This is paid for by the generous gifts that are received from churches, community groups and individuals."

The group's figures for 2016/17 shows that it run at a slight loss of just over £40.

Galashiels Foodbank items are collected at and distributed from St Peter's Church Hall.

There are currently eight foodbanks operating in the Scottish Borders.

As well as Galashiels, help is offered in Selkirk, Hawick, Kelso, Jedburgh, Earlston, Peebles and Duns.