HALF a tonne of food has been donated to help those in need - one of the largest donations yet.

Colchester Islamic Community Centre collected the supplies over a few weeks.

They include 447.6kg of tinned food, rice, jam, fruit juice, toiletries and crisps.

The donation was about three times bigger than the average supermarket donation.

Shoomi Chowdhuri, from the Colchester Islamic Community Centre, said: "The community centre has the aim of making sure we help our local community and do as much as we can.

"This was a call to action for us to so something and everyone put in a lot of effort.

"Donations came in from all over Colchester and Ipswich, and that is how this amazing donation came together."

Michael Beckett, Interim Manager of Colchester Foodbank, said the charity really appreciated the generosity.

He said: "It is a very large donation of almost half a tonne, which we gratefully received this week. As a small local charity we rely on donations from the public of food and indeed financial donations to help us, continue to provide emergency support for local people in crisis."

Colchester Foodbank, which has branches at Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, helps identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.

This entitles individuals and families to receive an emergency foodbank parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food.

Mr Beckett added: "Volunteers provide a listening ear to clients over a warm drink, and signpost people to other charities and agencies who can help resolve the underlying cause of the crisis.

"Most clients are able to resolve their crisis with just one parcel of support, except in exceptional circumstances, we don't normally supply any more than three parcels in any six months period to try to prevent dependency."