SKIPTON food bank has been plunged into crisis after being told it must quit its base in three weeks.

The charity which runs under the umbrella of Skipton Baptist Church and feeds around 80 people each week - around 30 households - only started operating from its new premises in Craven Court Shopping Centre in August, but has since been given a month's notice to leave by the shopping centre's new landlord.

Food bank manager Phil Sage said the letter she received on Friday saying they had to go was a blow to everyone.

The organisation, which started off at the church in 2011, had been offered the former toy shop, next to Laura Ashley's, for a small rent.

"The shop had been closed for three years and we felt because the centre had struggled to let it that we would be safe for a while. Getting this news on Friday was devastating," she said.

Mrs Page said Skipton Food Bank had signed a lease earlier this year and had got the keys in May. After problems with the electrical supplier were sorted, the group repainted the shop and spent some of its limited funds buying secondhand shelves and replacing some of the flooring.

"It was a lot of hard work and we were thrilled with the premises but we had only been going for six weeks when we got notice we had to leave. We have to be out by October 23 and we are now desperately trying to find another location in the town centre.

"We knew we would probably have to move and knew we would only have a month's notice, but didn't think it would be so soon.

"We have put out appeals and also started a fundraising page to try and raise money towards the cost of moving and to help us cope with the busiest time of year - pre-Christmas.

"We do get financial help from organisations with donations which we are grateful for, so it is upsetting that we used some of this to refurbish the Craven Court shop, but at least we will be able to take the shelves with us to new premises," she added.

The organisation processes around 25 tonnes of food each year which is donated by individuals, businesses and organisations and given out to people in crisis.

And it has seen the demand to help feed members of community grow by 20 per cent in the last year.

"What is concerning is that, statistically, only 10 per cent of people who need help with food actually approach food banks so we know we will get even busier.

"We had one woman recently who said she had our number for two years but was embarrassed to get in touch."

Clients are referred to the food bank through a number of agencies, such as through a GP, the Job Centre, or social services. However, if someone comes to the door they will not turn them away and will provide them with an emergency bag.

Each single person on the referral scheme gets two full bags of food each week while a family gets three full bags.

Each bag is packed to be as nutritionally balanced as possible and includes things like tea, coffee and toiletries, as well as tinned fruit and vegetables, cereals, rice and pasta.

Tesco and Morrisons help by having a collection station for donated goods while Marks and Spencer donates its fresh bread at the end of the day which the charity is able to freeze.

Mrs Sage said despite the crisis they are facing, they are determined and hopeful they will find alternative premises.

"We are going to keep going until we can't go on any more. We are just praying something will come up to help us," she said.

Richard Harrison, asset manager Praxis Real Estate Management Ltd, said: "Craven Court Shopping Centre was only ever intended to be a short term, temporary home for Skipton Food Bank while we developed long term plans for the centre in general, and this unit in particular. A food bank is not an appropriate use for a thriving shopping centre so it was always clearly understood and agreed by both parties that this was a temporary arrangement until we had a more appropriate user for the space.

"It is incumbent on us as a responsible and dynamic landlord in very challenging retail conditions, to proactively manage the shopping centre for the benefit of shoppers, other retailers and the community as a whole and, to that end, we now have a local business interested in taking the space on commercial terms which will be complimentary to the shopping centre and attractive to the shoppers of Skipton.

"Of course we wish Skipton Food Bank well in finding suitable alternative premises, and as a gesture of good will we are donating £1,000 to them which we hope will assist in the continuation of their fantastic work."

Anyone able to help with premises can get in touch with the charity via its Facebook page or by ringing Phil on 07856 080194.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should go to: