A new project set up to distribute food to poor families and individuals across the Bradford district is facing a crisis because the donations of food have dried up.

The Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank was launched earlier this year to send out food parcels via professionals and organisations working in disadvantaged communities.

It was set up by a team headed by Lashman Singh, who founded the Bradford Curry Project 14 years ago, serving hot meals to homeless people in inner-city areas.

That scheme continues to operate several days a week, on a drop-in basis, but Mr Singh wanted to reach a wider net of people in need too.

After 18 months of planning the food bank was started in March once storage premises had been secured. Father John Abberton at St Mary's Church in Barkerend allowed the use of a former nursery building next to the church.

But four months after its launch, the scheme has ground to a halt because there are no food donations.

"We rely on donations of food but there's just nothing coming forward, our shelves are empty," said Mr Singh.

"Instead of being a drop-in service like the Curry Project this scheme distributes food through the professionals and community workers liaising with people in need right across the district.

"There are no direct handovers of food; it has to be applied for in writing then sent out via an organised network of distributors."

The food bank, run by volunteers, works with charities, community groups, religious organisations, school breakfast clubs, representatives from GPs' practices and refugee/asylum-seeker services.

"Small organisations making and serving food in Bradford only reach a minority because they tend to be within the city," said Mr Singh. But there are many more vulnerable individuals and families across the district who are disadvantaged and in need of food."

Mr Singh said there was enough food to keep the food bank going initially but that had now been used.

"We're crying out for more donations," he said. "The Curry Project gets lots of food donations from harvest festivals, enough to keep going through the year, but this new project really needs to get off the ground.

"We're getting lots of requests from people working with refugees and single-parent families who desperately need donations, particularly of baby food.

"They have to fill in a form stating their requirements which go to Touchstone, then we sort out and box up the food and it's picked up by professionals and community workers who distribute it. We're all volunteers and prepared to do this in our spare time, what we desperately need are food donations.

"We need things like tinned and dried food and jars, packets and cartons."

Anyone who would like to donate food to the Bradford Metropolitan Food Bank can ring Mr Singh on (01274) 521028.