AN EMERGENCY appeal to raise £25,000 to deliver essential foods to vulnerable York families hit its target within days.

Hampers of hope are being distributed to families in need through the Coronavirus crisis by York charity The Island.

The funds will be used to provide fortnightly supplies of essential food, toiletries and activity packs for families and cover the fuel costs of deliveries by volunteers over the next three months.

Chief executive officer Nigel Poulton, of The Island children’s charity in York, said the appeal would continue to be able to help more families.

“I am overwhelmed that people have been able to generously give at a time when we are all feeling the pressure. We are just grateful people are looking out for others and thinking beyond their immediate situation which is still very stressful and uncertain.”

The Island supports the city’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and isolated children to help them realise their potential through positive mentoring to build their self-esteem and resilience.

Nigel said donations had come from individuals and charitable trusts, including £1,800 from Huntington and New Earswick ward funding; £6,680 from York Children’s Trust; and the Ed De Nunzio Trust which gave £5,000.

“People are being more flexible in terms of the process of releasing funds. The need is now. A lot families are calling us, worried. It is beginning to bite in terms of money.”

WHSmith at Monks Cross has donated chocolate bunnies while Nandos at Vangarde donated frozen, cooked chicken. Sainsburys at Monks Cross have given treats for mums, along with supplies, cuddly toys, and fresh produce.

“Sainsbury’s cafe closed so they gave their grated cheese and soup,” said Nigel. “One mum was desperate, with four children so we are able to include sticker books and activities.”