Manchester Piccadilly station has opened a collection point for food bank donations during the coronavirus pandemic.

The station team had the idea after food from the staff canteen at Network Rail’s Square One offices nearby risked going to waste after the coronavirus lockdown came into effect. 

With thousands of Network Rail employees usually based at the site on Travis Street now working from home, it left the well-stocked cafeteria with plenty of food and no mouths to feed. 

When the team from Network Rail then donated the supplies to the Manchester Central food bank, they found it was desperately in need of many essential items and decided to open the food bank collection point in the station.

Scott Green, station manager at Manchester Piccadilly, said: “This is the absolute least we can do to help Manchester Central food bank in this time of national crisis. Food banks are desperate for non-perishable goods, as national demand for tinned produce has risen.

“If you can spare any long-life milk, tinned fish, pasta, rice other canned items, please consider making a donation. If you are using the station for essential travel, speak to a member of staff if you have items to spare. Please don’t come to the station unless your journey is essential.”

Lauren Tunniciffe, project manager at Manchester Central Food Bank, said: “At Manchester Central Foodbank we've seen a sudden increase in the number of people using our services, including many who have never needed to access a foodbank before. So many of us who thought of ourselves as secure have been thrown into a state of uncertainty, and we will be feeling the effects of this long after the immediate health risk has passed. 

“We'd like to say a big thank you to the team at Network Rail who have supported us by setting up this donation point, and to all passengers involved in donating to us. 

“Right now every donation that we receive is vital to helping us provide for as many people who are affected by this life-changing situation as possible.” 

To help the food bank donation point has been set up in the station so Network Rail staff and passengers completing essential journeys can give food to a worthy cause. 

The collection will be delivered to the food bank each Wednesday. 

Meanwhile, passengers whose journeys are not essential are asked to please stay at home, help protect the NHS and help save lives.