WITH Christmas approaching and cold weather closing in, foodbank collection points have been set up in leisure centres around the Cotswolds for needy families in need of supplies.

Residents are being asked to donate non-perishable, in-date food items at the Cotswold District Council-run leisure centres in Cirencester, Bourton-on-the-Water, Fairford, Tetbury and Chipping Campden.

Tinned food, instant mashed potato, fruit juice and children’s Christmas treats are especially welcome.

CDC cabinet member for housing and communities Cllr Carole Topple (Con, Riversmeet) said she was delighted by the response so far.

“The collection bin at Cotswold Leisure Cirencester had to be emptied only 24 hours after it was put in place,” she said. “This indicates that a lot of people are keen to help those who are less fortunate. “The cost of food has risen dramatically and it is great to see that there are so many efforts underway to stop people in need going hungry. “With Christmas around the corner, their need is more acute than ever and I hope that people will continue to give generously.”

The North Cotswold Food Bank, which operates in Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh and Chipping Campden, along with the recently set up Cirencester Food Bank, are also working to distribute food to those in need.

Vouchers for a three-day supply of food can be obtained from care professionals such as doctors, social workers and health visitors, along with the police.