THE Vale Foodbank is running short of supplies and urgently needs to replenish stocks as the coronavirus pandemic leads to an increased demand.

A shortage of volunteers has also led to two collection and distribution centres having to close.

With ‘panic buying’ leaving many stores with empty shelves, the local charity fears many families already hard-up will be forced to go without.

Vale Foodbank chairwoman and trustee, Susan Lloyd-Selby said: “We’re still supporting people with emergency food but as a number of people are no longer able to volunteer we've have to close our centres in St Athan and at the Barry waterfront.

“All our other centres remain open, but this is a fast-moving situation so further changes are likely.

“We are posting daily updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“In the meantime, we are incredibly grateful to members of the public for their continued support and would ask them to continue to donate at any of our public donation points - not direct to our food bank centres.

Mrs Lloyd-Selby said the charity had completely run out of a number of items which include corned beef, tinned potatoes, tinned carrots, tinned tomatoes, instant mash,

UHT milk, long life fruit juice and rice pudding.

She said: “We are inundated with people asking for help because they can't find the items they need in the shops and this is putting our small team under enormous pressure.

“We would remind everyone that we're here to support people in financial crisis and unable to help people with shopping or items they can afford to buy but can't find

" This is an unprecedented challenge, and we don’t yet know how things will unfold.

“Wherever possible, we'll continue to provide the lifeline of emergency food – what this could look like in the coming weeks is hard for us to say at this stage.

“In the meantime, we're very grateful to everyone who supports us and would ask the community to please continue donating the vital food supplies we need."